Relationships can be hard. They require work, compromise and give and take. But what happens when things become one sided and you’re doing all the work, the giving and the compromising? Not only that, but what if the relationship becomes abusive and you’re pregnant? More than 300,000 pregnant women in the US experience intimate partner violence each year according to the CDC. One in six women experience abuse for the first time during pregnancy. So what can you do to keep you and your baby safe?
First off realize asking for help doesn’t make you weak but in fact makes you a great mother that you’re trying to keep you and your unborn baby safe. You can let your healthcare provider know the kind of situation you’re in. Try to attend prenatal appointments without your partner to increase your chances of asking for help. You can visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s website for a list of questions to ask yourself about abuse, important safety planning tips and numbers to call in each state for services. You can also chat online with someone. Another thing you can do is to pack a getaway bag with clothes, cash, water, some food and an ID and any other important documents you may need in case you need to make a quick getaway. Finally you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233. They provide confidential crisis intervention, counseling and referrals to local resources. Options United is another call center you can reach out to for referrals to local resources and for counseling and intervention when found in a difficult situation.
Domestic violence is a real and very scary thing, especially when you’re pregnant. Not only must you worry about your safety but the safety of your unborn child. These stresses can make getting out of the situation much worse.But remember you are not alone and you have people to reach out to that can help you leave safely.