Domestic Violence and Its Impact on Maternity



The primary research question

How does domestic violence impact the conditions and environment of maternity?

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The working thesis

The angle would be to present evidence that domestic abuse creates a hostile environment that women perceive as dangerous to raise a child in. The essay will seek to explore potential causes and conditions for domestic abuse to arise. Also, the impact of abuse on the decision-making process of women with or planning to have children will be analyzed.

Thesis: Domestic abuse directly impacts maternity as women experiencing a hostile environment feel that the conditions are dangerous to personal health and the well-being of a child.


Justification of the topic’s importance

Domestic violence is a core sociological issue that affects family stability and the health of the victims. The concept of maternity is often overlooked in discussions of domestic abuse. The psychological and physical health of a woman can severely impact the outcomes of family planning, pregnancy, or care for children.

The summary of the topic

Domestic abuse is any event of threatening behavior or violence occurring within a family or home environment between adults of all genders and sexual orientation. The majority of cases are perpetrated by men against women. The abuse can be physical, mental, emotional, or financial. Domestic violence in pregnancy is a public health concern due to consequences to the health of the mother and fetus. Children in the family are 90% of the time aware or directly experience domestic abuse which puts them at risk (Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS, 2013). Domestic abuse is prominent in the United States, resulting in approximately 10 million victims annually. About 33% of women have experienced physical violence from a partner, and 1 in 5 faced severe abuse (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 2015).


The primary audience

Research on this topic is addressed to professionals, individuals, and organizations that are interested in information regarding the issue to be used in research, advocacy, or directly working with domestic abuse situations.

The audience’s opinions and values

The majority of the population and the professional medical community agrees on the severity of domestic abuse and various consequences to maternity and women’s health. Disagreements most often arise in research on the prevalence of the issue as well as possible solutions to address domestic violence.

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Structure of Argument

Definition of the Problems

Research about the issue

Domestic violence can be correlated with poverty as a majority of cases result in triggered conflicts over financial conditions. Men direct anger and blame towards women which results in an outbreak of violence. Poverty causes deteriorating living conditions, which in combination with abuse, pose significant health risks (Slabbert, 2017). Domestic abuse can result in the creation of a hostile environment in a household. Women fear that environment can be dangerous to their child. A pregnant female may have serious concerns about her child’s future.

While many women can tolerate abuse towards themselves, it is not something that they can accept towards a child. Therefore, domestic abuse impacts the emotional and psychological state of the woman, causing possible termination of pregnancy or taking measures to avoid conception (Cote & Lapierre, 2014). Mothers focus on protecting their children from physical and emotional harm in hostile situations. However, putting the primary focus on children leaves women vulnerable and results in behaviors that seek to appease the abuser. This results in continuous violence as the abuser feels unopposed and can put a woman in a dangerous situation to protect her child (Wendt, Buchanan, & Moulding, 2015).

Further research area

More research needs to be conducted on the health consequences to the mother and fetus of a woman facing domestic violence during pregnancy. Furthermore, a more comprehensive review needs to be done on how a hostile environment can impact parenthood and the development of a child in situations of the mother being abused.

Definition of the Solutions

Current research to support the thesis

Domestic abuse cases are often avoided by law enforcement and inappropriately approached by counselors as an internal family issue. There is a necessity for a specific framework that can be used to respond to domestic violence by communities, specifically analyzing behaviors and high-risk situations (Coker, 2016). There is a relationship between the household environment and outbreaks of domestic violence. It creates a condition that puts a child at risk of abuse as well. Traditional measures such as arrests do not resolve the situation or prevent further incidents. Improved methods for family counseling, police response, and preventive recognition of violent behaviors have to be implemented (Roark, Knight, Olson, & DeSandre, 2016).

Further research to help develop solutions

Research should be done on methods that women can communicate situations of domestic abuse without fear for personal safety and risk the child being taken away. Most women seek to preserve their relationship with their partner but need help to address abusive behavior. The best family counseling techniques to help prevent violence need to be researched to form viable solutions.


Proposed achievements

The project seeks to highlight the realities of domestic abuse and its impact on motherhood. The frameworks for responding to and treating this family issue fail to encompass the effect on maternity for the victims. Further research can help women in family planning, pregnancy, and child protection when faced with situations of domestic abuse.

Concerns about the project

Domestic abuse is a controversial topic that emphasizes the importance to focus research on substantive and unbiased information. Avoiding social perceptions and misconceptions is important. The critical thing in the writing process is to recognize the existing problems that arise with domestic abuse experiences and find solutions to how the issue can be better recognized and treated by the parties involved.

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Coker, D. (2016). Domestic violence and social justice. A structural intersectional framework for teaching about domestic violence. Violence Against Women, 22(12), 1426-1437. Web.

Cote, I., & Lapierre, S. (2014). Abortion and domestic violence. Womens decision-making process. Affilia, 29(3), 285-297. Web.

Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS. (2013). The management of domestic abuse in maternity patients. Web.

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. (2015). Domestic violence. Web.

Roark, J., Knight, K., Olson, H., & DeSandre, H. (2016). Predictors of child abuse charges within the context of domestic violence arrests. Crime & Delinquency. Web.

Slabbert, I. (2017). Domestic violence and poverty. Some womens experiences. Research on Social Work Practice, 27(2), 223-330. Web.

Wendt, S., Buchanan, F., & Moulding, N. (2015). Mothering and domestic violence. Situating maternal protectiveness in gender. Affilia, 30(4), 533-545. Web.

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