Study Finds That Pregnant Women Are More Likely to Be Victims of Assault Than Other Women

A new study led by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, finds that pregnant women face a high risk of domestic violence assault, suicide, and murder than women who are not pregnant.

After examining 45,000 cases of trauma of women of childbearing age at hospitals in Pennsylvania between 2005 and 2015, the  study found that trauma from assaults or accidents affects one in 12 pregnancies. Pregnant women were twice as likely as other women to suffer assault-related trauma than they were to experience trauma from accidents such as car crashes or falls.

“Trauma from assaults or accidents is the leading non-obstetric cause of death among pregnant women,” said Dr. Neha Deshpande, the lead author of the study and a clinical resident of obstetrics and gynecology at the medical school. “Not only is it associated with complications for the baby, but management of traumatic injuries in pregnant patients has its unique challenges, given the physiologic changes of pregnancy and restrictions doctors may face when treating pregnant patients. The striking results of our study suggest that widespread screening for violence and trauma during pregnancy may provide an opportunity to identify women at risk for death during pregnancy.”

The study on violence in pregnancy was presented last month at the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Annual Clinical and Scientific Meeting in San Diego.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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