WORKING WITH BATTERED WOMEN: A Handbook for Health Care Professionals


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Specific Indicators of Abuse During Pregnancy


  • spontaneous or threatened miscarriages
  • premature contractions
  • low birth weight
  • unexplained fetal distress and demise
  • late prenatal care
  • missed appointments—especially if cancelled by male
  • fear of partner
  • asks partner for permission


Partner's Behaviour

The woman's partner may also exhibit behaviors that could alert you to the possibility of abuse:

  • he hovers, is unwilling to leave her side
  • he speaks for her/belittles what she says
  • he is over-solicitous with care providers

While keeping all the indicators in mind, you will want to move into the second aspect of care, assessment/examination.


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