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Abuse during pregnancy, understanding the silence

by Weidenhamer, Heather Ann

Abstract (Summary)
The purpose of this exploratory descriptive study was to explore the emic perspective of women who were abused during pregnancy. Seven informants (abused during pregnancy within 5 years of the time of the interviews) were recruited by an advertisement in a community newspaper, at women's shelters, and a follow-up support group for abused women. Ethnographic methods were used to analyze the data obtained from the face to face, open-ended interviews. All of the women had left the relationship and one woman was pregnant at the time of the interview. Although women told their stories of abuse during pregnancy within the broader context of their abusive relationships, the relationship between abuse and pregnancy was described. Each woman's experience was unique, however common themes were identified. Implications for education and practice were gleaned from the women's stories. Further education is required for victims of abuse, helping professionals, and the general public. All pregnant women should be screened for abuse in a direct but sensitive, non judgmental manner in a private setting. It is essential that disclosures of abuse are believed, resource information is provided, and the women are respected and supported in their decisions.
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Source Type:Master's Thesis

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Date of Publication:01/01/1997

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