Sunday, February 03, 2008

The "Super" week

1-800-799-SAFE (7233) National Domestic Violence Hotline

Well the media is full of Superbowl hype (how many minutes to kickoff today?) and the campaigns are focused on Super Tuesday....when does birth get its "super" focus?

There is a bit of an urban myth that domestic violence increases today - you can search the web and find the roots...but in my thinking process if this urban myth gives people pause to reflect on our horrible rates of domestic violence today and the cases that affect so many pregnant women, than there is no harm in this feeling. Everyday results in too many women being hurt by domestic violence.

Because a friend is writing a pregnancy book, we were IMing this morning and she sent me to the National Domestic Violence Hotline website NDVH I was very impressed that before the page loaded that this pop-up came:

Safety Alert

Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your internet and/or computer usage might be monitored, please use a safer computer, call your local hotline, and/or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

So how does this relate to childbirth education - well in the US alone, as many as 324,000 women each year experience intimate partner violence during their pregnancy.

I feel it's a critical topic to cover in childbirth class. It needs to be covered gently - and I bring it up by begining that I hope no one in the class feels unsafe in their relationship but due to the high numbers, chances are someone within our expanded circle of friends/co-workers that we do know, someone is in an abusive situation. Being pregnant complicates it and often increases it.....I make sure they know about our community's shelter and resources and I also spend time there to know what is available for pregnant and parenting women.

And for those of you who work with teens, there is a special hotline number for them: Their number is 1-866-331-9474.

It's always helpful to post Domestic Violence Hotline numbers in the woman's bathroom and encourage them to memorize the number.

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