Care Net; Pregnancy Centers Fight
Awareness, Options Key for Women
LANSDOWNE, VA – During October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Care Net released new training materials for pregnancy centers that include updated instruction in recognizing signs of domestic violence and assisting victims.
Women who are pregnant unexpectedly are at least twice as likely to experience violence from an intimate partner than women whose pregnancy was intended.[i] Some abusers believe that pregnancy forces a woman to remain in the abusive relationship. In addition, women whose partners want them to obtain an abortion could be at risk for violent retaliation if they decide to continue their pregnancy.
Cynthia Hopkins, Care Net’s Vice President of Center Services, explained:
“Women in abusive relationships come from all types of backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses. One factor that can greatly increase a woman’s risk of experiencing abuse is becoming pregnant unexpectedly. Whether she is dealing with a partner who is attempting to force or coerce an abortion or whether she feels trapped in a relationship with a violent person, it is important for those who work with pregnant women to be prepared to offer her support and resources that empower her to leave a violent relationship and seek safety. Care Net comes alongside pregnancy centers to provide training that equips staff and volunteers to recognize signs of domestic violence and advocate for victims.”
Pregnancy center personnel regularly provide emotional support for women as well as referrals to community resources for victims of domestic violence, including shelters, law enforcement, and legal resources.
Care Net is working to build a culture where every woman receives all the support she needs to welcome her child into life and create her own success story. Last year, Care Net’s faith based pregnancy centers served nearly 400,000 women, offering them free services such as ultrasounds, pregnancy tests, STD tests and counseling services. Nationally, Care Net pregnancy centers have a 98.8% client satisfaction rate, and they have been honored by numerous states and, in 2008, by the White House for their service to our country.
[i] See J.E. Hathaway, L.A. Mucci and J.G. Silverman et al., Health status and health care use of Massachusetts women reporting partner abuse, Am J Prev Med 19 (2000), pp. 302–307.