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The need for connections with community-based organisations

It is critical that health providers working in maternity settings are aware of the support options in the community for DVA.
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0

Clinics, hospitals and other health settings need to have clear referral policies and pathways in place to assist staff to make appropriate referrals to a range of service providers.

This could include in-house support such as domestic abuse advocates or services in the community. The type of support offered following disclosure of abuse will depend on factors such as their current risk level, stage of pregnancy and general health, their support network, the presence of other children, their level of isolation, accommodation needs and access to economic resources.

It is critical that health providers working in maternity settings are aware of the support options in the community for DVA, or at least be able to access that expertise or information internally.
In fact, having established contacts (knowing people’s names) and communication (regular meetings) with these organisations will promote effective referral mechanisms and good quality of care for pregnant people. Having safeguarding teams on site, domestic abuse advocates and/or domestic champions are all ways of staff gaining advice and information on supporting victims in their care. Having established referral pathways are essential for ensuring the pregnant person’s needs as regards safety and advocacy are being met.


Does your workplace have a directory of services for referral for DVA and other forms of gender-based abuse? If applicable, please identify below the types of organisations that you/your co-workers refer to, and which needs these services are designed to meet.

Though we welcome you to share personal experiences, please do not share identifiable information, that is, any information that could identify a person such as a name, date of birth, or where a person lives.
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© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0
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Identifying and Responding to Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA) in Pregnancy

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