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Women's views and experiences of antenatal enquiry for domestic abuse during pregnancy

Salmon, Debra; Baird, Kathleen; White, Paul


Debra Salmon

Kathleen Baird

Paul White
Professor in Applied Statistics


© 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the acceptability of antenatal enquiry for domestic abuse from the perspective of women using maternity services. It also sought to understand the experiences of referral and support offered to women who had positively disclosed abuse. Methods: A multimethod approach was adopted including quantitative and qualitative elements. The survey assessed women's views of the acceptability and impact of routine enquiry for domestic abuse. Interviews aimed, to understand the views and experiences of women who had positively disclosed abuse during their contact with maternity services. Results: 94.4% of those surveyed felt comfortable with a midwife asking about abuse. 96.6% of the participants also believed it was appropriate for a midwife to ask and that midwives should be able to respond to positive disclosure. Interviewees subject to abuse during pregnancy were happy to be questioned, even though they did not always feel able to disclose immediately. Conclusion: Women had a positive view of antenatal enquiry for domestic abuse in healthcare settings and support its continuation. Women expect to be asked and that midwives can respond appropriately. Raising the issue creates a culture in which women are made aware of the impact of abuse and understand there are avenues of support even if she decides not to leave the relationship. Women may choose not to disclose about the abuse at the initial time of asking, for fear of their own safety but asking signifies that she can disclose about at a later contact.


Salmon, D., Baird, K., & White, P. (2015). Women's views and experiences of antenatal enquiry for domestic abuse during pregnancy. Health Expectations, 18(5), 867-878.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2015
Journal Health Expectations
Print ISSN 1369-6513
Electronic ISSN 1369-7625
Publisher Wiley Open Access
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 5
Pages 867-878
Keywords pregnancy, domestic abuse, antenatal
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : Article first published online: 25 March 2013