Study: Pregnant women with disabilities 2x as likely to experience partner violence

Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 9:26 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A recent study by the University of Virginia says pregnant women with disabilities are more likely to experience violence in relationships.

“We also know that health care providers are less likely to discuss sexual and reproductive health care with this population, often viewing them as asexual. So, these women aren’t receiving critical information on contraception and other important aspects of sexual and reproductive health care,” Jeanne Alhusen said.

Women with disabilities also struggle to find help and resources if they do reach out for help.

“We’re seeing a lot of people falling through the cracks with disabilities because, you know, like agencies such as domestic violence agencies are not as educated in supporting survivors with disabilities as they can be,” Laura Mahan said.

Alhusen hopes that this research will start the process of health care workers providing better screenings.

“A critical first step would be that, you know, every person interacting with the healthcare system is screened for a risk such as violence. Also, we know that persons with disabilities may experience unique forms of abuse, such as withholding assistive devices or refusing to provide necessary care. So, we need to assure that our screening measures are appropriate for all,” she said.

Those who experience violence during pregnancy are also more likely to have post-partum depression and PTSD.

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