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08th Feb 2023

Women’s Aid are looking to improve maternity services for victims of domestic violence

Sarah McKenna Barry

“Domestic abuse during pregnancy is more common than you think.”

The domestic violence organisation Women’s Aid is looking to hear from survivors of abuse who accessed maternity services in Ireland.

The charity hopes that their survey will help them spot gaps and improvements needed in order to provide better maternity care for women who experience domestic violence.

You can access the survey right here.

The survey is open to women who accessed services while being abused in the last five years in Ireland. Maternity services here include care relating to pregnancy, pregnancy loss or termination of pregnancy. Domestic abuse in the survey is defined as being a “pattern of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviours including all or some forms of domestic violence and abuse (emotional, physical, economic, or sexual, including threats) by a current or former intimate partner”.

Launching the survey, Women’s Aid’s CEO Sarah Benson said: “Domestic abuse during pregnancy is more common that you think and we want to hear from women who have accessed maternity services to hear their voices and any insights they have.

“The survey will help us to learn about whether women were asked about domestic violence and abuse at their appointments; whether they talked about their experience of domestic violence and abuse with healthcare staff; what type of supports they received; and what types of supports they would like to see in place.”

The survey takes between eight and 10 minutes to complete. Its findings will be used to inform Women’s Aid’s Maternity Project, which they are running in partnership with the maternity hospitals of Ireland.

To learn more about the project, you can head to the link right here.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, support is available. Women’s Aid’s 24hr National Freephone Helpline can be reached on 1800 341 900. Other resources can be found on their website right here.