Battering During Pregnancy: Intervention Strategies


  • Anne Stewart Helton R.N., M.S., A.C.C.E.,

    1. Anne Stewart Helton is a Community Health Consultant, 11 Boulevard Green, Bellaire, TX 77401.
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  • Frances Gobble Snodgrass R.N., M.A., M.S.

    1. Frances Gobble Snodgrass is Visiting Assistant Professor, West Virginia University, School of Nursing, 3110 MacCorckle Ave S.E., Charleston, WV 25304.
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  • This work was supported by a March of Dimes grant for the Prevention of Battering During Pregnancy. An educational video, “Crimes Against the Future,” endorsed by Surgeon General Everett Koop, is available from the March of Dimes, 1275 Mamaroneck, White Plains, NY 10605.


ABSTRACT: Battering during pregnancy is a major health problem affecting not only the pregnant woman but the unborn child. Battering frequently begins or escalates during pregnancy or the postpartum period. Interviews with 290 healthy pregnant women revealed that of the sample of black (22.4%), Latino (43.1%), and white (32.1%) pregnant women, 23 percent had been battered before or during the current pregnancy. Of these, 63.8 percent were unaware of resources available for battered women. Of those who were aware, the predominant resource cited was family. Perinatal caregivers can be instrumental in primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention of battering.