In this blog, we address the issue of Abusive Pregnancy. Not all babies are born out of a loving relationship. And incredibly, pregnant women tend to experience greater severity in domestic violence. Domestic Violence (DV) Awareness month is in May. So we want to raise awareness because many of our survivors of slavery have babies from abuse. Or they have run from a domestic violence marriage that turned them into modern-day slaves.
A moment in a couple’s life that is supposed to be filled with love and happiness can sometimes turn into a period of trauma and abuse. This is often the case for women experiencing domestic abuse in their relationships. Those experiencing domestic violence often have their body controlled by their partner. They are practically enslaved to their partner. As a result, leaving them with no sense of emotional, mental or physical stability.
When DV becomes Modern Slavery
DV can start with beatings, psychological controls, threats, and rape. But when a DV victim is no longer allowed to keep in contact with family or friends they are on the path to modern slavery. So when they are not allowed out of the house unsupervised, they have no phone and no bank account, and all freedoms are lost. That is when they become victims of modern slavery. In turn, these actions can create a sense of dependence on their abuser. So many fear the consequences of leaving. If they then become pregnant and have a child they feel trapped and even obliged to stay.
Violence Increases During Pregnancy
It is important to recognize that gender inequality among men and women is a key factor in the violence that women endure. This is especially the case in unexpected pregnancies. There are evidence and study cases conducted that have proven that pregnant women experience greater severity in domestic violence.
“Pregnancy has been identified as a time of greater autonomy and self-awareness for women and as such pregnancy may symbolize “autonomous control over her body and her independence from her partner” (Bacchus et al., 2006, p. 595).
Since control is a significant aspect of domestic violence, abusive men may find pregnancy threatening. As a result, seek to re-exert control over their partners.” To learn more about the experience of pregnant women suffer from domestic violence click here.
In addition, it is sometimes the fear of an increase in severity in abuse during pregnancy that can lead some women to terminate their pregnancy. Because while the woman is pregnant, the partner could grow resentment as the pregnancy limits his entitlement to his partner. In return, most pregnant women experience greater sexual violence and coercion. Common factors for victims of modern slavery. For more examples of what could lead a woman to terminate their pregnancy and the effect, the abuse had on the fetus click here.
The Freedom Hub supports Victims
It is because of this that The Freedom Hub is so determined to provide support to victims of modern-day slavery within a marriage. For too long men have felt the need to control a woman’s body and every aspect of her life. We hope to provide guidance and support to those victims as they try to regain who they were as an individual.
We have many survivors who have had to leave a violent marriage. Locked in, beaten, raped daily, and scared. It has often been the neighbors responding to screams that have revealed the situation. Those lucky enough to escape and run to a DV center or their family are the few. Shame, stigma, fear for their life, fear for the baby, no money, no future, no family or friends, are all reasons many stay.
If the violence has gone on for many years, ‘complex’ trauma becomes a major part of the mental health of the victim. Understanding and helping women with complex trauma is a big part of our service. For further understanding on this issue read our article on this topic here.
If you or anyone you know is looking for a support system or wants to provide support to our cause please click here or call us at 1800FREEHUB (1800 3733482). If you or the person is in immediate danger call the AFP: (02) 5126 0000
Written by our USA Intern: Natasha Lewis