violence and the childbearing experience

December 19, 2009 § Leave a comment

found this entry on wikipregnancy.  i especially appreciate the analysis that i put in bold…

Experiences of violence are common for women and affect pregnancy and childbearing in a myriad number of ways. How a woman may be affected is as individual as she is and depends on the type of violence she experienced, for what duration, what type of support she received at the time and continues to receive and numerous other factors. It is important that women know that they are not alone as it is essential that caregivers, nurses, doulas, therapists, social workers, policy makers, police and others become actively involved in educating themselves on how to best support women who are victims or survivors of violence in their lives. The silence that surrounds childhood sexual assault, incest, intimate partner violence, woman abuse and systematic oppression needs to be broken in order for healing to take place. This wiki is an avenue for speaking up and out as it is a tool for those who wish to educate themselves and contribute to the growing body of information on how to optimally ensure the health and well-being for mother and child when violence and abuse are or have been present in their lives.

  • Women of Color

    • Women of color experience the greatest amount of all forms of violence from that in an intimate partner relationship to that perpetrated through systematic oppression that pervades our institutions and society. Experiencing racism at a constant level has now formally been attributed to preterm births and low birth weight babies. Because of economic oppression, women of color are most likely to live in communities and work at jobs that maximize exposure of environmental toxins in their lives. This type of environmental racism is a further contributor to what may cause the maternal and infant well-being disparities experienced by such communities. Women of color experience regular violence perpetrated by the criminal justice system. The long history of rape, murder and torture of women of color through the colonizers conquest and later slavery are evident today. The continued trafficking of women is one of the more obvious forms that continue today. Of the more subtle forms include the reproductive health policies that target these women for sterilization without their consent and other atrocities that have been experienced in the not so distant past. Even if these practices are being curbed (they usually are not public until after the fact and even then, they are not widely spread), women of color are still targeted for forms of birth control with the greatest risks attached such as Depo, Norplant and Quinicrine that have sterilizing effects of their own. All of these forms of violence significantly impact a woman’s childbearing experience. Since the origins of violence have a long history that today’s dominant belief systems are rooted in, no matter how subtly, these beliefs are often held by many of the individuals who come into contact in a “helping” capacity during the childbearing year. The parallels of the violations experienced against these woman are not acknowledged because they are systematic, normalized, minimized and otherwise, under the surface. This fact, that the perpetrators are often the ones who make the rules and deny blame for their consequences, applies to the other specific categories of mothers below.
  • Bi, Lesbian, Trans and Queer Gender

    • Women are often discounted as abusers and this can make it difficult for individuals abused by women to get the services that they need. Someone who is abused by a woman, trans or queer gendered partner may be seen as less of a priority than women who are battered by men.
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