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Identifying and Responding to Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA) in Pregnancy

Discover how you can better support people experiencing domestic violence and abuse in pregnancy.

1,447 enrolled on this course

Identifying and Responding to Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA) in Pregnancy

Explore the challenges of providing care for DVA in the context of pregnancy

Around 1 in 12 people are exposed to domestic violence and abuse (DVA) during pregnancy.

Health appointments during this time are a good opportunity for maternity staff and other health professionals to ask people about DVA and offer support. Maternity staff routinely screen for DVA, yet disclosure and referral rates remain low.

On this course, you will discover the research, guidelines and techniques for screening for DVA more effectively.

You will have the opportunity to enhance your ability to support victims and contribute to creating change in DVA rates during pregnancy.

What topics will you cover?

  • Defining domestic violence and abuse
  • Domestic violence and abuse in the context of pregnancy, labour and postnatal settings
  • Barriers and opportunities for disclosure in the context of childbearing
  • Enhanced screening practices
  • Enhanced responses to disclosure in the context of childbearing
  • Midwives’ personal experiences of domestic violence and abuse
  • Professional wellbeing

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify signs and symptoms of domestic violence and abuse during pregnancy and in the postpartum period
  • Assess risk and understand the impact of DVA on pregnancy, childbirth, maternal health, infant health, long-term outcomes and parenting
  • Develop awareness of the research evidence underpinning interventions for DVA during pregnancy, including selective screening and healthcare responses
  • Develop skills in asking about abuse, including questions to ask and how to ask them and creating the conditions to allow safe disclosure
  • Reflect on and learn about supportive responses, referral options and follow-up
  • Explore challenges and barriers to provision of care to pregnant people and parents experiencing DVA, as well as addressing your own experiences of abuse as a barrier to enquiry and response

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for midwives and maternity staff caring for people giving birth and their families.

It may also offer useful guidance for any professional providing care for pregnant people and in the postpartum period.

Please note that the staff referred to in the “Who will you learn with” section below may be subject to change.

Who will you learn with?

Dr Sally Pezaro is a lecturer and researcher at Coventry University. She is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Midwives (FRCM) and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)

An associate professor and health psychologist, my research focuses on mental and sexual health impacts of domestic and sexual abuse and healthcare interventions to promote healing for survivors.

Who developed the course?

Coventry University

Coventry secured gold in the UK Government’s 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and is University of the Year for Student Experience in The Times & The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019.

  • Established

    1992
  • Location

    Coventry

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  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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