Pregnancy and Abuse: How to Stay Safe for Your 9 Months

pregnancy and abuse

Pregnancy and Abuse: How to Stay Safe for Your 9 Months

Pregnancy is a time of change. If you’re pregnant, your life — and your body — starts taking on a new shape as you prepare to bring a little person into the world. Pregnancy can be full of excitement but also comes with an added need for support. It’s natural to need emotional support from a partner, as well as perhaps financial assistance, help to prepare for the baby and more.

If your partner is emotionally or physically destructive toward you, it can make these months of transition especially difficult. Thankfully, there are resources available to help people who are expecting get the support needed for a safe, healthy pregnancy.

If the Abuse Is Increasing or Just Starting — Why Now?

According to the CDC, more than one in three women in the United States has experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Pregnancy can be an especially dangerous time for people in abusive relationships, and abuse can often begin or escalate during the pregnancy.

Partners become abusive or increase the abuse during pregnancy for a variety of reasons. Since abuse is based on power and control, it’s common that an abusive partner will become resentful and jealous that the attention is shifting from them to the pregnancy. They may be stressed at the thought of financially supporting a child, frustrated at the increased responsibilities or angry that their partner’s body is changing. None of this is the survivor’s fault, and none of these are excuses. There is no excuse for abuse.

Abuse of any kind during pregnancy can put a person and their unborn child at heightened risk, because a pregnant person is in a uniquely vulnerable position both physically and emotionally. If the abuse is physical, trauma can cause both immediate injury as well as increase the risk of hemorrhaging, a uterine rupture, pre-term birth, complications during labor or miscarriage later in the pregnancy.

What Can You Do?

Many pregnant people frequently see their doctors for prenatal care. These doctor’s visits can be an opportunity to discuss what is going on in your relationship. Whether or not you choose to tell a professional about the abuse, or how much you choose to disclose, is completely your choice. However, the doctor’s job is to focus on the wellbeing of you and your child, so this could be a safe time to talk about any concerns.

If your partner goes to these appointments with you, try to find a moment when they’re out of the room to ask your care provider (or even the front desk receptionist) about coming up with an excuse to talk to them one-on-one. The doctor’s office can also be a quiet place to make a phone call to The Hotline. If you’ve decided to leave your relationship, a health care provider can become an active participant in your plan to leave.

Additionally, under the Affordable Care Act, all new and non-grandfathered health plans must cover screening and counseling for domestic violence — considering these to be preventive care services.

Here at The Hotline, our advocates are also available 24/7 to help you plan how to stay safe during your pregnancy — both physically and emotionally. Physical safety planning could include tips for when the fighting starts, for example, such as protecting your abdomen and staying on the bottom floor in a house with stairs.

Pregnancy can be a challenging time, and it can feel hurtful if your partner isn’t being supportive, is putting you down or physically harming you. It’s important to develop ways to take care of yourself during such an important stage of your life — and we can help.

Further Reading and Resources

Find more articles about pregnancy and abuse here.

Comment section

79 replies
  1. Hi Kimberly,

    Thank you for reaching out to us. I know this must be such a painful experience on so many levels. I would encourage you to call us at 1(800).799.7233. We are here 24 hours a day, confidential and anonymous. We can get you connected to local resources like shelter and crime victims compensation. Please stay safe until then.

    All the best,
    Hotline Advocate MC

    PS I had to remove some of your comment as it was a violation of our community guidelines. You can read them here.

  2. We still live with his father, two brothers and a sister. they do nothing to help they stay out of the way. im scared to leave him i get anxious and desperate.this is the 4 time i come back cuz i have nowhere to go. im terrified to leave him but im scared that if i stay i wont be here for long.

  3. Blue, we’re happy you’ve shared with our community, and hope you continue to do so. We’ve edited out some of your message for the emotional safety of all of our community members. If you would ever like to reach out and talk to an advocate about what you’re going through in your relationship, or the specifics you mentioned in your comment, we’re available 24/7. You can reach an advocate anytime at 1-800-799-7233.


  4. Pure Sadness,

    I am so sorry to hear that you are experiencing abuse. It must be even more difficult going through all of this during your pregnancy. Your life and your unborn child’s life are very important, and the abuse can pose a safety threat to the both of you. You do not deserve to be abused and I want you to know that you can contact us for help and support. We are here to talk to you during this difficult time and let you know what options you have. Call us anytime at 1-800-799-7233, we are confidential and anonymous and here for you 24/7.

    Hotline Advocate MK

  5. I am 16 weeks pregnant and currently in a relationship that I’m being abused and he uses drugs all the time I have no other place to go no job no car no money and don’t know what to do I’m a recovering alcoholic and drug addict and scared for me and my baby

  6. Emily,

    Thank you for reaching out for help. It must be very scary living with someone who is both abusive towards you, as well as using drugs. Your safety and your baby’s safety are very important, and the abuse puts the both of you in dangers way. I want you to know that we are available to talk to you about how you and your baby can remain safe. I know its hard being without a place to go, a job, a car, or money; but help is available and there are safe options for you and your baby. Please give us a call at 1-800-799-7233, we are completely confidential and anonymous and are here 24-7 to support you.

    Hotline Advocate MK

  7. I am currently 6 months pregnant live with my fiancé and his family. He has never hit me, although he has threatened to before and has thrown things at me. He and I are both recovering addicts who take Suboxone. I love him but he can be a Jekyll/Hyde and when he gets angry I feel very scared and stressed and alone. I am terrified of how the stress and this medication I take are affecting my little girl. I have no job car or resources right now. I need help.

  8. Sarah,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with our blog community. It sounds like this is a really scary situation. I am sorry to hear that this has been a stressful time for you. This isn’t anything that you deserve. We know that abuse does not only involve physical violence, it is a pattern of behaviors that occur because one person wants power and control over the other. It sounds like the threats he is making and the anger he is expressing are tactics that he may be using to gain this control. I am concerned for your safety. Unfortunately, many times the abuse escalates during the pregnancy because it can feel like a vulnerable time.

    There may be options available to help you feel safe, both physically and emotionally. If you feel safe, I encourage you to contact us, The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1800-799-7233. An advocate is available 24/7 to offer guidance and support and your call is completely anonymous and confidential. I hope you are able to give us a call.

    Til Then,


  9. My boyfriend and I conceived almost as soon as we got together. The abuse started before he knew I was pregnant, but has only gotten worse. I’m 19 and now as of today 19 weeks pregnant. At one point in time I tried to leave him because I found out he was cheating and he repeatedly punched me in the stomach trying to get me to miscarry. Each beating gets worse and worse. If I’m quiet during an argument, he beats me. If I say something he doesn’t like, he beats me. He tries to hit me in places that don’t bruise easily, or where people can’t see. The time before last, he blacked my eye and gave me a nose bleed. The night before last, he beat me because he found out that I saw him talking to his ex, and I got upset. He turned it on me and said it was my fault for not being able to keep him happy. Then he started hitting me because I went through his messages. He beat me with a meter stick, my own shoe, his shoe, kicked me with his steel-toe work boots, punched me up and down my spine, punched me in the back of the head, punched me in the thighs and vagina, and started whipping me with phone cords and snapping me with wet towels. If I cried, he hit me harder. If I was too quiet he backhanded me. If I said anything that wasn’t me blaming myself, I got hit. Then when I said, “I’ll do whatever you want,” he started wailing on me again because he said that I have to want what he wants, and that I should know what he wants. He went to sleep, and I couldn’t get comfy enough to go to sleep due to the pains in my back and arm, along with the leg cramps associated with my pregnancy. He went to work at 6 am, but before going to work woke me up demanding sex, breakfast, and other things. If I was too slow, he threatened to hit me. I offered to find his work shirt, and couldn’t. He told me he’d look and called me names. I went to pour me a bowl of cereal and since I was no longer helping him look, he snapped a towel at my hands and made me get the cereal on my clothing and the floor. He then pushed my head in the bowl (now on the floor) and told me to pick it up with my hands. I started picking it up off the carpet, but the frosted flakes were sticking to the carpet. He hit me in the back and tailbone in an attempt to get me to do it faster. I felt like puking so I ran into the bathroom. He busted down the door and said, “You picked the wrong time to have to go to the bathroom.” And started punching me in the arm. When I tried to run out, he busted my lip. He went in to work, and got off at 1. When he got off, I was tired, so I went to sleep. He fell asleep with me. I didn’t wake up until 11 PM, and he was still asleep. When he woke up, he immediately started hitting me because “I forced him to waste his day sleeping.” He left the room and I called the cops. He found out that I called and took my phone. He hung up on them, and started choking me when his mom walked in and told me that if I pressed charges, she’d institutionalize me because of my recently contemplated suicide due to the abuse. (I tried to get coricidin, Xanax, seroquel and alcohol just following the time he blacked my eye, and never took anything, just considered it.) When the cops got here, I put on a jacket to cover up the bruises on my arm, and some red lipstick to cover up the busted lip (the swelling had gone down, but it was still slightly noticeable). I insisted that it was just an argument, and they left.
    Now I’m here, and I don’t know what to do. He says he won’t hit me again, and that he’s sorry and loves me, but he’s probably just feeding me lines….

  10. Dear Feeling Hopeless,

    Your story is heartbreaking. You don’t deserve any of this treatment and his abusive actions are not your fault at all. Like you said whatever you do or don’t do makes him react with abuse. This is how abusers choose to treat their partners. Unfortunately they usually never change and often get worse. Research shows that abusive heightens during pregnancy. I certainly hope he does not hurt your unborn precious baby. There is a way out. You deserve to be treated with respect, love and consideration. I hope you will call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (800) 799-7233, and talk to us about what you’re going through and the options in your life. You and the baby deserve something much better.

    Hotline Advocate_MT

  11. Eboni,

    Thank you for reaching out to us through our blog community. It sounds like a lot may be going on. I want to let you know that we are available 24/7 at the National Domestic Violence Hotline to talk about this situation. An advocate can offer strategies to stay safe as well as talk with you about your options.

  12. i am 6mnths pregnant and my husband is beating…he infected me with H.i.v intentionally with our first child,this is the second pregnancy,everytime when i want to report him he says he is sorry,i almost lost my first child cos of the abuse,dont want to lose this one,please help

  13. Hi Peculia Kobedi,

    I am so sorry to hear about the abuse that you are encountering. It is absolutely not ok for your husband to beat you, let alone intentionally infect your with H.I.V. Additionally, I know that you are 6 months pregnant, and studies have shown that there is a tendency for abuse to increase during pregnancy. This brings about a bigger concern for your safety as well as the safety of your unborn child. I know you are very concerned about your safely and are in need of help, please call us. We can explore your options and offer you support during this fragile time. Our hotline number is 1-800-799-7233; we are here 24-7 and we are confidential and anonymous. Help and safety options are available for you and your unborn child, so when you are safe to call us, please do.


  14. My man will go out with his friends comes back in the morning;-( he will wake me up and start to beat me for no reason just because i’m angry at him. He is abusive but at some point i thought he will change because I’m pregnant. Should i stay in the relationship ?

  15. RELLO,

    Thank you so much for sharing with our blog community. It sounds like this is a really scary situation. I am very concerned for your safety because we know that abuse tends to escalate over time, but especially during a pregnancy. It sounds like he is not taking responsibility over his actions, turning the blame around on you. We know that people who can make excuses for their behaviors, do not change them.

    It is understandable to feel conflicted with this decision and it is something that may not have an easy answer. However, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is available to talk this through as well as brainstorm ways to stay safe. I encourage you to give us a call when you are in a safe place to talk with an advocate through our anonymous and confidential hotline at 1800-799-7233. We are available 24/7 and are here to offer guidance and support.

    Until then,

  16. I am 16 and I am pregnant. I am afraid once my parents find out they will become violent. Or after I have the baby. adoption is not a choice. I will keep this baby. But I do not want to bring it into this world and both of us be in danger. Im not sure if my mother would hurt me but I know she will be angry and I do not need stress in my life. Please help

  17. Danyelle,

    Thank you so much for sharing with our blog community. This sounds like such a scary situation and I am concerned for your safety. This can be a really difficult discussion to have and it is important to think of ways to stay safe through it. I encourage you to check out this website to find a healthcare professional to brainstorm with you. Our sister organization, love is respect, can also be an excellent resource to talk through what is going on. I hope that the rest of your pregnancy is stress free. Know that you are also always welcome to contact us, the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1800-799-7233.


  18. I am 34 years old and currently in an abusive relationship and pregnant 2 1/2 months. I have been with him two years but I was in a 15 year abusive relationship before this and already have three kids. I am high risk pregnancy. My abuser drinks every day after work and I am so depressed. I can’t talk to him because he gets angry and beats on me. He has blacked my eyes, broke my nose and busted my eardrum. I can’t believe he hits me being pregnant but I have nowhere to turn, my family all live out of state and have been there so many times in the past that its like crying wolf now. I have a car but. no Liscence or job to get away. Please help. It seems that I never got any genuine help to get away and get my life together before but I would if someone really cared enough to help. Thanks

  19. Dear Jackie,

    Thank you for sharing your heartbreaking story with us. Abusers will often get worse when a victim is pregnant and I am sorry he is hurting you this way. I can imagine everything gets worse when he drinks. I’m also sorry that your family isn’t able to help at this time. There are domestic violence shelters that will take you and your children in for a period of time. Maybe this would allow you to get on your feet and begin a new life without abuse. Please call us so we can get you that information. The National Domestic Violence Hotline number is (800) 799-7233(safe).

    Hotline Advocate_MY

  20. Things with my boyfriend of 4 yrs got really bad. I’m pregnant with our 3rd child. I have a 3 year old and a 19 month old. We got into an argument of how he is and the way he talks to me. That I didn’t like it. He kept walking Away from me and I told him that he was disrespectful. He asked me for me money I said no. That got him really angry and he started to call me all kinds of names. So I grabbed His bags and told him to leave. He grabbed me and wouldn’t let go and slammed me twice against the wall. My 3 year old was saying stop daddy. All I could do was try to get away from him but when I did he punched me in my eye and I fell on my sons Big dinosour toy. I scraped my leg, hurt my back and my head when I hit the floor. I still proceeded to tell him to get out. And pushing him out the door. He punched me again on my mouth and it scared my 3 year old she ran to her room scared. My 19 month old I fell on him when my boyfriend punched me the 2nd time and blamed me for hurting him and blaming me for scaring our daughter. When he left I locked all the doors and just cried . this has happen so many times before. But my daughter is old snuff to know what is going on already. She tells me she is mad at her daddy and don’t want him home because he was being mean. It brakes me heart how I could be doing this to her. He seems to always come back and beg to be home with his kids. I can say no but he forces himself and uses our son to get back inside. And started yelling outside that I’m abusing my kids. Its like I can’t get away from him. Even when I try. I just want to leave with my kids to another world and to never be seen by him anymore.

  21. Ashley,

    Thank you for reaching out. I know it is not easy opening up about such a scary experience. My goodness, you are in an extremely abusive relationship. Your boyfriend is not only emotionally abusive towards you but he is extremely physically abusive. Your safety along with the safely of your children is really of concern. I want you to know that it is never ok for him to physically or emotionally abuse you. He is putting your life in danger. As abuse continues in any relationship, it tends to get worse as time goes along. With children in the house as well, this poses a great risk for all of you. I want you to know though that there are options available to keep you and your family safe. I would like to encourage you to call our 24-7 hotline number at 1-800-799-7233. We are completely confidential and anonymous and there are advocates here ready to talk to you about your situation as well as what options are before you. Help is available for you. You and your children do not deserve to have to go through this. Please give us a call when you can. We look forward to supporting you in whichever way that you need.

    Hotline Advocate MK

  22. I am currently 7weeks pregnant I think, I dont know I dont have insurance to go the doctor to find out. Anyway I am very mentally abused by my boyfriend pretty bad. I have calmly told him I feel and he just tells me how stupid I am goes on with how worthless I am. I am pregnant with his baby an he does know and doesn’t have a care in this world but about him self. I need to get out of this and I can’t I’m trapped :'( I already have a 2year old little boy and fighting custody to keep him right now from my ex husband and now my boyfriend is doing all this to me. I have nothing, no house, no car, no where to live, I have very limited places I can go because of already having my current son. What do I do? Im so scared of losing this baby due to stress :'(…. I miscarried back in October from stress an im scared it will happen again. I litterly have no where at all. I have no money nothing. Government homes wont take me because of my credit being so bad. I am in Michigan an I need help please!!!!

  23. Hi Ariel,

    It sounds like you’re in a very stressful and scary situation. Thank you for having the courage to share with our online community. Your boyfriend has no right to talk to you like that, to call you names or put you down. I can hear that you feel trapped, and you haven’t found the help that you’re looking for. There are resources out there and you can call us anytime 24/7 to find out more information. You have the right to be safe and no one should take that away from you.

    Our calls are confidential and anonymous, and you can reach us at 1-800-799-7233, anytime that it’s safe for you to call.

    Take care,

    Hotline Advocate AS

  24. Hello I read your articles and I’m trying to be a man and admit to what I have done. I am a veteran from the United states marine corps and suffer PTSD. Last night I let the battle of PTSD get a hold of me and I almost struck my very pregnant wife and I shoved her on our bed several times. I am extremely Ashamed in what I have done and I wanted to turn myself into the police but my wife refuses to let me. I am wondering if you have any help for men like me. I love my wife and baby and I cannot live with myself until I can show her the respect in this relationship she deserves.

  25. Trying to do the right thing,

    Thank you for reaching out. I know that admitting to the wrongs that we have done can be incredibly difficult. But coming forward and taking responsibility is the first step towards change. What we also know is that abuse is always a choice. Mental illness does not cause abuse. It can make it worse, it can make it different but it does not cause it. Abuse is all about power and control. What we recommend here at the hotline are Batterer Intervention Programs. They are designed to identify the causes of abuse and teach people strategies to stop them from being abusive. I would encourage you to call us at 800-799-7233. We are completely confidential and anonymous and we are here 24/7. We can find the program in your area and hopefully help you on your journey.

    Until then,
    Hotline Advocate MC

  26. I’m 7 months pregnant and my husband will beat himself and break all of his stuff and some of mine too. I beg him not too bit he does it anyways. He will hold my against my will so I can’t get to the door to leave, strong arm me, take my phone, yell so loudly my ears hurt hours later, my dog will go hide it’s so bad, and I just want to feel loved again and happy and safe. Every time he goes to his family’s house he comes home angry and abusive towards me where as before he was taking care of me and being nice. 🙁 he has rage attacks over nothing at all, and will beat himself, hit walls, throw things, literally go insane. I’ve called the cops and they had him committed for like 3-4 days at a mental facility bc he wouldn’t let me leave and said he’d shoot himself if he did. That’s why I called the cops and he got taken. He’s doing all that again, and today we ended up in the garage where I tried to run to so I could leave since he blocked the front door and he caught up.and held the garage door down. I was beating on the door yelling to let me out of my house for like 10 mins. I’m sire the neighbors herd but nobody said anything. He took my phone so I couldn’t call the cops like he always does. 🙁 I started having really bad tummy cramps and I decided to lay down when he left for work. I just want someone to love me. To want me. To not be mean. 🙁 what did I freaking do to make him be like this…. my best friend says I need to divorce him but I’m scared. I love him but I know it’s not right what happens. 🙁 I’m so sad and cry all the time. Oh great, he’s homeeeee.! Yay. :/

  27. It will be one of the hardest things you will ever do but you must leave. If you think it could be abuse most likely it is. It sounds like the marriage I ended a year ago. It started where he just wouldn’t let me leave or do anything like call the cops. Fast forward 9 years and 2 more pregnancies, he was punching me, choking me until I lost consciousness humilating me and even went as far as raping me. I got out but barely and with last injuries, I have horrible teeth from infections from cracked teeth, I have partial hearing & vision loss on my right side and scars all over. I also have 3 children who witnessed this for far too long and are scarred for life. I beg you please get out now. Don’t put your baby threw that. I wish I would have done something different long ago, my kids are doing better now as am I but I still have nightmares and I can’t trust anyone. He pushed away everyone in my life so I feel very alone and I have no one to turn to. I know it’s hard trust me I tried many many times and couldn’t leave bc he was so manipulative he would convience me that he couldn’t help it and didn’t mean it and he loved me. Now I have an EPO, he hasn’t seen my kids in a year, and we are recovering. It has been a long process I’m 30 and had to start all the way over again but I promise you it’s worth it, HE could of KILLED me or hurt my children. NO ONE SHOULD BE PHYSICALLY OR EMOTIONAL AFRAID OF SOMEONE WHO SAYS THEY LOVE YOU. Love isn’t fear, abuse, name calling, threats. PLEASE PLEASE get out.

  28. Sara,

    My gosh, It sounds like you have been experiencing a lot of emotional and physical abuse. First and foremost, I want you to know that this is not your fault and there is absolutely nothing that you did to deserve to be treated this way. Your husband is making the decision and choice to treat you this way, and that is never acceptable. He is putting your life, as well as the life of your unborn child in a lot of danger. What we know about abuse is that it tends to get worse after an individual gets pregnant, and also as time moves along abuse tends to escalate. Your husband holding you against your will, and keeping your from leaving the house is not ok. It sounds a lot like what he is putting you through is having a toll on you and your not feeling loved. Love does not hurt and does not control. You do deserve to be wanted and to be loved, but you don’t deserve to be abused. I want you to know that you can call us so that we can talk to you about options that you may have. We have a 24 hour hotline that is completely confidential and anonymous. Our advocates are here to talk to you whenever you are safe to call. If you can, please call us at 1-800-799-7233. You and your unborn child deserve to be safe.

    Hotline Advocate MK

  29. A reminder to our blog community,

    We are thankful that you all are reading, posting, and encouraging one another through our blog. Please be mindful that everyone’s experience in an abusive relationship is different and what might have worked for you, may not work for others.

    You can view our community guidelines here: https://www.thehotline.org/community-guidelines/

  30. I am barely in my second trimester. I have only dated this guy for a year and got pregnant, so it wasn’t planned. Through this relationship he had anger problems, always yelling, trying to fight people, throwing things punching walls, disrespecting everyone. Towards me he was always caring but occasionally he would break out in anger . Since I’ve been pregnant it’s gotten worse he grabs my wrist really hard , or cusses at me and verbally abuses me and puts me down to make me feel like it’s my fault. He has pushed me really hard and hasn’t let me leave the house after fighting. After every fight he apologizes and says he will change and takes care of me well and pretends nothing happens but days later , his anger takes over . I feel like he will never change and I don’t want our baby growing up in the life style

  31. Hi Rose,

    Thanks so much for reaching out. I know it can be hard to share your story and I’m so glad that you did. It sounds like you are in an emotionally and physically abusive situation. We know here that abuse can escalate around relationship milestones, including pregnancy. Abusive people will often try to make you feel like the abuse is your fault but that is not true. There is literally nothing that you can do to force him or make him be abusive. That is a choice he is making in order to have power and control over you. They will also often apologize and act like nothing happened but then go right back to that same behavior. That is a tactic he uses to escape taking true responsibility for his actions. Abusive people who don’t take real responsibility for their actions and don’t recognize what they are doing as wrong rarely change.

    I would encourage you to give us a call at 1 (800) 799.7233. We are completely confidential/anonymous and you can give us a call any time. We can talk to you about your situation, ways that you can stay safe and get you connected to local resources that can help you get out. Know that you are not alone in going through this and there is support out there.

    Until then,
    Hotine Advocate MC

  32. I am about 21 weeks pregnant with my 3rd child and didnt think I’d ever be writing this. My husband is a pow combat vet brought home who seems to now have control issues. I say seems to because he’s so convincing to me, I end uo with the blame for everything. During this pregnancy, my last and in between he has choked me numerous times, punched my chest and hands, kicked me on the ground, punched my skull, choke slammed me into the door more times than I can remember now, hit me so hard in the side of the face I passed out and couldnt actually hear for awhile when I woke up, and has rear naked choked me, cutting off my airway entirely. But if I had just kept my mouth shut, he wouldnt have escalated, and I know what he’s like so I should know by now what right and wrong to say in any situation… right? Its so confusing to know when im in the wrong, he uses everything against me and uses facts to aupport them, ao it makes me feel like I deserve what he’s doing. Physical abuse isnt enough, he has to use emotional abuse and pick a part the things about me that he knows I hate. Im stupid, gullible, over emotional, and cant get over my past. Its just all confusing, I feel like I deserve it. Like everything would just be better if I wasnt here.

  33. Confused,

    Thank you so much for reaching out. I know it can be incredibly difficult to share your story. It sounds like you are in an incredibly scary situation. There is never any excuse for physical violence. And there is literally nothing that you could do to force him to be abusive. That is a choice that he is making in order to have power and control over you. Blaming you for everything is a very common abusive tactic and it allows the abuser to continue their behavior without taking responsibility for their actions because they can blame you. But its just not true. The only person in control of his actions is himself. And he is lying to you in order to maintain control. Strangulation is a very, very serious thing and it sounds like you’ve been through so much.

    You mentioned that you were feeling like it would be better if you just weren’t there. I want you to know that having suicidal thoughts is normal in abusive situations, especially when it seems like there is no escape. I want you to know that you do not have to face this alone. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. You can also give us a call at 800-799-7233. We are completely confidential/anonymous and we are here 24/7. We can talk to you about your situation, make a plan for your physical and emotional safety and than get you connected to any local resources that can help. You are not alone and you can get through this.

    Until then,
    Hotline Advocate MC

  34. ive been dating this guy for three years and had a tarrible break up for seven months, then we did the kiss and make up, so now im 4 weeks prgnt with his baby whats bothering me now is that he is emotionally abusive, he tell me that im a hore,stupid i dont deserve to be a mather of his baby. pls tel me what can i do becouse i think abortion is the solution for me,even though my granny says its a sin

  35. Hopeless,
    It sounds like you’re going through a very overwhelming time right now, it’s very brave to reach out and ask for some support for all that you’re going through.
    It sounds like you’re in a very confusing situation. You boyfriend does not have the right to call you names or to put you down. That is absolutely emotional abusive behavior. You have the right to choose what’s best for you in this situation.
    If you’d like to talk with an advocate about what’s happening in your relationship don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
    You can contact our hotline 24/7 at 1.800.799.7233 or you can chat with us at thehotline.org M-F from 9 AM to 7 PM CST.
    We’re completely confidential and anonymous.

    Hotline Advocate KK

  36. I’m 17 pregnant with my second baby and my boyfriend always hits me throwing me and hitting me in the face I feel so sad cause he doesn’t care he’s hurting his unborn daughter 🙁

  37. Dear Kayla,

    Thanks for reaching out to us. I’m sorry your boyfriend is hitting you. You’re right, it is sad that he doesn’t care about his unborn daughter or you for that matter. Unfortunately, abuse often increases when a woman is pregnant. Please try to protect yourself and your unborn child and please call us so that we can help you with resources for your future. The National Domestic Violence Hotline phone is (800) 799-7233). You deserve to be treated with respect, love and consideratiion.

    Hotline Advocate MT

  38. I am 20 years old and pregnant my bf is cheating,when I was 3mnths pregnant I caught him n he apologised and promised that he will not dO it again but I caught him again the same way through whatsapp messenger and it hurt a lot knowing that all the promises he made was jst to make me feel better.I want to leave him I need help

  39. Elizabeth,

    Thank you for reaching out to us. It sounds like you are going through a lot. It can be devastating to find out that someone you love is betraying your trust. It is definitely not okay that he did that. I would encourage you to give us a call. We are completely confidential/anonymous and we are here 24 hours a day. We can talk to you about your situation, develop a plan for your safety and then get you connected to local resources that can help.

    Until then,
    Hotline Advocate MC

  40. My so, and I got pregnant after being together for a little while, but have known each other since high school. Before getting pregnant we had discussed having children together, being with each other longterm and getting married. I currently have two children from 1 previous relationship. I was married to their father, but left after years of abuse and ups and downs. I am severely disabled and have almost lost my life many times due to illness alone. I am extremely high risk, and my mom is afraid that having this baby might kill me. My so knows the risk, and still is extremely verbally, mentally,and emotionally abusive. He even told me to have an abortion today, after kissing my stomach just last night. He says horrible things to me, and is always calling me ungrateful. Like I should be happy just because he lives with me. He doesn’t see any wrong that he does and complains all the time. He blames me for everything it seems. And has little regard for my health and my life it seems. He ridicules me for being disabled, as if I want to be this way or have some control overit. I don’t know what to do. I am on bed rest and severely disabled, I can’t work and have no income coming in and I have 2 beautiful kids that I have to be mommy daddy auntie uncle grandma and grandpa for. I don’t know what to do. I have no support system, absolutely no one to even help when I have the baby. . Feeling lost and destitute.

  41. Dear A Way Out,

    I’m so glad you’ve reached out for some support and help from our blog community; it’s very brave of you to share all that you’ve been through. It sounds like you feel really overwhelmed, confused, and stuck in your situation. The emotional and verbal violence you’re being put through is not okay – you do not deserve to be treated that way. You deserve to be supported in whatever decisions you need to make about your health and pregnancy, and should not be told what to do. It sounds like all of this is so unfair to you.

    I hear that you feel really lost and are not sure what to do or what my help you and your 2 children – not to mention the one on the way! If you’d ever like to reach out to our hotline or our chat services to talk about what’s going on, please do so. Our advocates can discuss with you what’s been happening, safety plan, brain storm options, and try and locate resources that might help.
    The Hotline is open 24/7 and advocates can be reached at 1.800.799.7233.
    Our chat services, found here at thehotline.org, is open 9 AM to 7 PM CST.
    Both services are confidential and anonymous.
    When you have some safe time to talk, know that you can reach out anytime.

    Hotline Advocate KK

  42. My fiancee is two months pregnant with our child, and she has anger problems where she gets incredibly violent. She gets so angry I’m afraid her stress levels will hurt our baby. She also cuts herself sometimes. She is a former Meth addict and she doesn’t want to go to the doctor for her checkups because she is afraid if she goes anywhere she will be tempted to do drugs. I asked her if she would do Meth knowing it would kill our child and she said “probably.” I’m very concerned about the health of both her and our unborn child.

  43. Joshua,

    That definitely sounds really stressful! We know that abusive people can be violent and controlling. We also know that drug addiction does not cause abuse. It can certainly exacerbate it, make it more intense but at the end of the day abuse is always a choice. It may be a good idea to check out the website for Nar-Anon. They may have some information how to support your fiancee around her addiction and to get her the help that she needs.

    If you are having concerns that you are being abused, I would encourage you to give us a call at 1 (800) 799-7233. We are here 24/7 and we are confidential/anonymous. We can talk about your situation, develop a plan for your safety and get you connected to resources that can help. Know that you are not alone and that there is support out there for you.

    Until then,
    Hotline Advocate MC

  44. An an 22 yr old lady who is 7mnths pregnant.living with my bf and have 1 baby boy with him.he first layed his hands on me after i moved in with him.cheated on me with 6 gals in a row. Heated me when i found out. 1 night he left to be with his brother,i sore it was getting late called him to come back home.he unswered saying hes on his way,he pressed the wrong button trying to hang up and i listern to what happenend and heared that he was busy being intimate with a girl that was our nannys . I went were they were and he badly heated me and that continued. Now he is dating a girl that we usualy sit with in a pub. He now calls me names, fights with me when i touch his phone. He has desapeared for over 4days now because i touched his phone and chooses his friends and brothers over us.his big brother tells him am no wife for him,as well as everyone. I love him but its all becoming too much for me to handle while am expecting our second baby.please help me

  45. Hi Mbali,

    That’s such an awful situation. I am so sorry to hear that your boyfriend is abusing and cheating on you. Going through all this trauma during your pregnancy can make it even more overwhelming and painful. Many abusers escalate during pregnancy for a variety of reasons, including feeling like you are less likely to leave them because of your children. Your safety and your children’s safety are the most important thing. You should feel supported and be able to live in peace.

    It sounds like you’re debating on whether to stay or leave. I want you to know that you can contact us for help and support. We are here to talk to you during this difficult time and let you know what options you have. Please call us anytime at 1-800-799-7233. We are confidential, anonymous and here for you 24/7.

    Take Care,
    Hotline Advocate VG

  46. Hi, I’m 17 years old and I’m currently 3 months pregnant. My mom is an alcoholic. She comes home every night drunk and gets into my face and screams at me for no reason. Sometimes when i come home from my boyfriend house; when i walk in the door she starts drama and yells at me. This is an every night thing now for the past 10 years for me. Ive had enough. I don’t feel safe and i don’t feel safe with having my child around her. I have recorded proof of her saying that if i can trust my child with my boyfriend alone(hes the father) that i can get out her house. Please help me.

  47. Hi Skylar,

    Thank you for reaching out. It sounds like you are going through a lot. It is definitely not okay that your mother is yelling at you. You deserve to live somewhere that is supportive, nurturing and safe. Here at the Hotline, we focus on intimate partner violence so we may not be the best resource. You may want to check out the Boys Town National Hotline. They will have better resources to address your situation and hopefully get you connected to the help you need.

    All the best,
    Hotline Advocate MC

  48. i have been in a relation for nearlly 7years with my partner and i just dnt know what to do any more i have just found out im pregnant with my forth child (third by partner) i suffer from server depression and cant cope with the hell my partner has been putting me through he says he dnt say stuff to hurt my feelings but he dose the first time round pregnant by him he had hit me twice saying that it was my fault and that was just over 3 years ago he hasnt hit me since but has threatend to do he hardly ever helps me with the kids or house work ( i got a horse before i found out i was pregnant as i love them and my dogs but he keeps saying that he is gonna sell them) he is hardly ever everalways wants to be with his friend (idnt mind this as it gives us time apart) but the frustrating thing is, is that ineed help with the children over night and he gets nasty tome calls me name and says i say nothing but bullshit and that he is tired (but he sleeps all night ) i didnt want another baby but it happened and now wouldnt change it (but i have thought of having an abortion which im totally against ) when his granddad died i was there for the whole time and this happened just before our daughter was born. last year in january my mum and he wasnt there for me at all he dumped me saying that i wasnt with him all the time at my mums wake (the other night both of the youngest children was ill and crying and screaming all night i was begging him to help me he told me to go and die (not the first time tbh) im alone and have no one to turn to im 32 years old and he 23 its my fault he treats me like and calls me names as i bug him to help i just dont know what to do anymore

  49. Hi mummy,

    Thank you for reaching out. I’m so sorry for everything that you’ve been through because of your abuser. I’m also sorry for the loss of your mother. Losing someone you love is never easy and you deserve to be supported. Many abusers become more violent and abusive during pregnancy. Pregnancy is actually the most dangerous time for an abused woman. Even though he is justifying his behavior, there is never a reason for him to be abusive towards you. Unfortunately, I have to talked to many people whose abusers get jealous of the attention you give your children, friends, and family. This includes when you’re mourning the loss of someone close to you. Instead of being a supportive partner during your most stressful times, he seems to become even more abusive and tries to make things worse for you. This is the opposite of what a good partner would ever do.

    With everything you have been through, it’s not surprising that you’re feeling depressed. Abuse, whether it’s emotional or physical, is traumatic and can lead to depression or anxiety. In fact, many of the people I talk to suffer from depression or anxiety because of the abuse. You’re not alone and I would encourage to contact us at 1-800-799-7233 if you need to talk. We’re here 24/7 and completely confidential.

    Take care,
    Hotline Advocate VG

  50. I am currently 6 months pregnant with my second child. The father of my first born is in prison for being physically abusive and putting my life in danger. I have raised my four year old son alone. The guy who I am pregnant by now is very mentally abusive. Him and I had a great relationship at first. After I got pregnant I found out he was using meth. So he moved back in with his parents. I have lost my job, my home, and have no income. He is always putting me down writing me how i am horrible and tells me to go kill myself. I have been trying really hard to be strong but it’s hard when I have no emotional or financial support from him. I don’t even know what to do.

  51. Hello Angeles,
    Thank you for sharing your story with us. It can be very difficult to feel as though you have no support from your child’s parent, and I am sorry that this is happening. You don’t deserve to be spoken to that way, with the trials you are facing financially and through him, you should not have the added stress of someone belittling you and telling you that you should not be alive. I can see that you are a very strong person, seeking support takes a lot of strength and you’ve done that.
    There may be avenues available to you for financial support seeing that you have been a victim of domestic violence. Communicating with us or your local domestic violence program may be able to help you find those options. We are available 24 hours a day at 800-799-7233, our confidential and anonymous Hotline. Please feel free to reach out to us for any resources or support you may need moving forward.
    Take Care,
    Hotline Advocate RF

  52. I was raped years ago in middle school and found out I was pregnant weeks later. I was about four months pregnant with a little girl when my rapist found out and pushed me down the two flights of stairs in the school, resulting in a miscarriage that has left me with severe depression, PTSD, and fear of getting pregnant again. I desperately want another chance to have a child with my boyfriend of one year, despite me being 18, but I’m so scared that my fear could lead me to having a miscarriage once more. My boyfriend has been the most supportive person about this and even wants to have a familiy with me as well… I’m not afraid of him, he treats me beautifully. But I’m so afraid that my fear will kill what could be my last chance at a child. Is there any hope left for me to have a baby? What can I do?

  53. Hi Anonymous K,
    Thank you for sharing your story. That’s such a heartbreaking situation. It’s natural to be fearful after everything that you have been through. It might help to talk to your primary healthcare provider since knowledge can usually help get rid of some of the stress and uncertainty you’re having right now. Your healthcare provider can usually let you know if there are any health issues that would hurt any future pregnancies. Emotionally, it sounds like having support and a safe place to talk about your fears would help. We’re here 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 to help you find support in your area. We’re also completely confidential and anonymous. I would also encourage you to reach out to Backline (http://yourbackline.org/), because they talk to callers about pregnancy loss and other issues around pregnancy.

    Take care,
    Hotline Advocate VG

  54. this my first pregnancy and my mother in law is making me tired of the marriage and husband supports her.sometimes i dnt eat rather always crying

  55. Esther,

    Thank you for reaching out to our blog community. It sounds like a lot is going on. There are so many pressures already involved in each pregnancy, it can be overwhelming to find even more to handle. Know that you can always give us a call to process what is going on as well as talk about ways to stay safe both physically and emotionally during your pregnancy.

  56. im 23 weeks pregnant my boyfriends never hit me but when he drinks and gets mad he throws things and i dont want our daughter raised around that i have aspergers syndrome and choose not to work right now because i want to be there for my daughter like my mom was not for me and he constantly yells at me for not working im on disability bills get paid whats problem yet if i dont go back to work soon after she is born he is done w me he isnt there for me emotionally through this

  57. I’m up at 5:44am depressed because my unborn child’s father decided he needed someone to verbally abuse. I’m so tired and I’m not sure what to do anymore. I’m 38 weeks pregnant and things aren’t getting any better.

  58. Hi Pure,

    It’s normal to feel upset or depressed when someone you love chooses to be abusive. You should be able to trust and feel safe with your partner, and it sounds like the choices he makes are incredibly hurtful. Pregnancy should be an exciting and happy time but that celebration and anticipation is being marred by the abuse you’re experiencing. You don’t deserve to be treated this way, even if your partner refuses to take responsibility and change. If you’d like a safe place to talk, our advocates are available 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233. You and the baby have the right to be safe and happy.

    We’re here when you need us.

    Hotline Advocate AS

  59. I’m about 12 weeks pregnant, this is my first pregnancy so I’m incredibly nervous and more certainly scared. Me and my partner have been on and off for about 4 years now and our relationship has been a rocky one, but more recently the fights have gotten much much worse. Before, he would get mad, go outside, smoke, come back and we’d talk it out. But ever since I found out I was pregnant he storms out, smokes, and comes back even angrier. He curses me put all the time, and although our fights have never been physical, the things he calls me feel like punches. Im suposed to be excited to bring my little one into this world and to do it with the man I love, but it’s hard when he’s making me cry everyday and instead of being understandin and showing me compassion , he yells at me, calls me names, tells me to get over it. He makes me feel completely alone during this and all I want is for him to be here with me and do this thing together. What should I do? I’m afraid the stress is going to hurt my baby.

  60. Hi Crystal,

    It’s so heartbreaking to have the joy and excitement of pregnancy taken away from you because of the abuse. You deserve to have a partner who is there to offer you support and celebrate with you. Like the post mentioned, many abusers escalate during the pregnancy for a variety of reasons. You have done nothing wrong and he has no right to abusive towards you ever. Emotional abuse is hard to deal with because it starts to destroy your self-esteem and happiness. It’s hard to forget the things he said to you. This is how many abusers maintain their power and control in the relationship. Abuse can be incredibly isolating, but especially during a pregnancy. What you’re asking for in the relationship is to have compassion, kindness, respect and to feel safe. This the foundation of a healthy relationship and it’s not too much to want.

    We’re here to offer you confidential advice and support 24/7. If you want to talk to one of our advocates about your options, please call 1-800-799-7233. You might also consider contacting Backline (http://yourbackline.org/) at 1-888-493-0092. They offer confidential support to women who are pregnant.

    Take care,
    Hotline Advocate VG

  61. I have a five year old and pregnant with my second at age 41. The baby daddy has told me that its my own fault why I allowed myself to get pregnant. When I told him I was pregnant he started saying I need to get an abortion because he is too old to have kids. (He is 45) his career is more important and making money for his life style.
    He wants absolutely nothing to do with his unborn baby.
    I have told him to stop being a nag. All he does is whine and complain and start stupid fights with me like why cant you leave the toilet lid up or why is there a crumb on the counter. Why cant you carry the groceries up the stairs yourself. You are lazy and only work 5 hour days. He is emotionally abusive and I dont make enough money to afford any place to live. The shelters are full and his negativity has been causing me headaches and stomach cramps. He asks if I can take out the trash while he sits and plays online games. I told him I am sensitive to the smells and the bag is heavy and im pregnant shouldnt be carrying groceries upstairs and trash downstairs. He says its not an excuse. If pregnancy isnt an excuse then what is? He works an average 20-24 hours a week and he has excuses, but heaven forbid I have a reason to not do something. When he is off work, he becomes completely worthless. His constant need for control and need to always be right is frustrating because he thinks he is the snartest man alive, but he thinks pregnant women are useless, but I wasnt useless when he knocked me up. I am done with being his slave. I need help to escape his mental abuse. He owns a gun and has threatened to use it on me, but retracted his statement and said Im not worth him spending life in prison because I am a waste of space and no one wants a useless human being and Im taking up resources that someone could be using. HELP!

  62. Hi Tiffany,

    It sounds like your relationship is incredibly hurtful, and causing a lot of stress on your pregnancy and in general. Pregnancy can be an especially difficult time during an abusive relationship. We understand how hard that is, particularly because it should be a time of joy and excitement. No one has the right to put you down or insult you or threaten you. The fact that your partner owns a gun and has made threats to use it are red flags about how dangerous the situation is. I hear that you’ve recognized that the situation isn’t safe and have had trouble finding the resources, like shelter, that you need to leave. We know how frustrating it can be to reach out for help and not get the support that you need.

    If you need a safe place to talk about all of this and find out what local resources might be available, please know that you can reach us 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233, and every conversation is confidential and anonymous. You can talk to any of our advocates about what you want to do, what resources are available, and ways to be safe. You and your kids deserve to be safe.

    We’re here when you need us.

    Hotline Advocate AS

    Some graphic details were removed to maintain the safety of this blog for all members, as per our community guidelines, available here.

  63. I got out of it! I am 24 years old, I moved in with my ex after knowing him for years and got pregnant. I saw a side of him I had never seen before, he got very abusive. At one time he choked me until I blacked out, he even had the guts to say that a couple more seconds and I would’ve died. I never told anyone because I felt shame, all my family thought I was living the perfect life. He would spit at me, push me around, throw away the food I was about to eat, and at one time said he hoped me and our baby died. After that I got scared for the safety of me and my baby. I called The NDV Hotline and they guided me through. I am lucky to have an awesome family for helping me out. Whenever he tries to contact me, I remember all the bad things he put me through and that stops me from answering any of his calls or messages. I am almost four months pregnant and have had no complications. This is my first baby and I will be a strong wonderful mother.

    “One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.”

  64. I need help. I am healing and dealing with an abusive ex. I am at a point where I can kind of see that he will always be abusive (my expectations of him as a husband, father) are becoming congruent with reality-that he isn’t that at all. I will save the details. He says anything is slander, which I find is a tactic now to just silence the truth or keep me down. He has silenced me and manipulated and denies. Please help..because it is scary. To coparent with a person who has done horrible things to me when I was pregnant and then projects. He’ll do anything to silence me, make me think it’s me or that he is right or does nothing bad at all. He acts calm and amiable to people while he is totally different. It has consumed my happiness for years, made me fear. But it doesn’t stop just because he is with another. He never took responsibility and left and made things my fault. Then he used social sites and even has his girlfriend tell me on the phone “nothing happened.” Every interaction is crazy making and aimed at second guessing myself. It adds stress and it interferes with what I need to do. That is his aim and really, it is abuse and it should be dealt with.

  65. Diana,
    Thank you so much for your addition to your blog community. I am so glad to see you reach out to share your journey, and obviously your strength. I see that the situation was incredibly abusive and it takes a lot of tenacity to be able to be where you are now. We do know that abuse tends to escalate during pregnancy, so it is good to hear that you are in a safe space to enjoy a happy, healthy pregnancy and later happy and healthy child. We are so glad to see that you are safe, and have the care of a wonderful support system. I see that you have reached out to our hotline before, remember that we are here 24 hours a day at 800-799-7233 and are always here as a support system or resource if you need us.
    Thank you again for sharing with us and take care.
    Hotline Advocate RF

  66. Hi lindsw,

    It sounds like you’ve been in a terrifyingly dangerous relationship for a long time, and that the mental and emotional abuse is continuing. It can be so frustrating to see your ex maintaining this false public image, and it’s something that many abusive people do. He can use that image, and the power that comes with it to undermine you and any attempt you make to tell the truth. We hear similar stories from many of our callers. You may be interested in checking out our blog post on gaslighting (here). The tactics that your ex is using sound a lot like the behaviors described in that post – trying to make you doubt yourself, think you’re going crazy. These tactics are used to manipulate someone, to shake their confidence, and they can be incredibly challenging to deal with.

    It may be helpful to find local resources like a support group, where you can talk with other survivors who have had similar experiences. It can also be a good place to get ideas and strategies for protecting yourself from your abusive ex as you raise your children. You can also call our Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 24/7 if you would like to talk to us about local resources or safety strategies. We keep all conversations confidential and anonymous to be a safe place for people to talk about what’s going on.

    We’re here when you need us.

    Hotline Advocate AS

  67. I’m currently in a abusive relationship and I have a 15mo old by my abuser and recently just found out I’m pregnant again. My abuser depends on me because he doesn’t work. I really wish it was a way for him to leave without feeling in danger. He gets drunk and becomes abusive He takes any extra money I have only thing he does is watch our son while I work. Im scared to put our son in daycare because he threatened me about it. I feel so stuck all my immediate family stays far and cannot really help me with son while I work and I don’t know how long child care assistance will take. I feel like in order for me to get away from him I will have to lose everything I have. Like never come back to my apartment he takes my car also. I just don’t know what to do I feel so stupid for letting this go on so long and now I’m pregnant again because he forces me to have sex with him. I lost my mother 2 years ago and I seen her go through abuse with my stepfather all the way until she died. And I never wanted to go through that but somehow it’s happened to me also, I just don’t know why he treats me this way I give him everything. I’m a laid back humble person I don’t provoke him I just want love and respect. He just brings me down so much and I feel I don’t have anyone. I tell my father about the things that are going on He just tells me to pray. Thats good not all but I need help I can’t call the police while it’s happening and I once texted a friend to call them but the police never showed up. I just want him out of my life I don’t even know who I am anymore. on top of it all I’m diabetic and over weight I feel so stressed I can’t get a grip on my life I’m just going in a downward circle. I’m about to turn 32 now I feel I’ve ruined my life by having two children by someone I despise.

  68. Hi Jeana,

    Thank you for having the courage to share your story with our blog community. It sounds like you have a lot of really stressful things going on at once, and I’m so sorry to hear that you’re going through so much right now. There is no excuse for the way your abuser has been treating you, and it must be extremely frustrating that you haven’t been able to get the support you deserve from your friends and family or from the police.

    I definitely want to encourage you to call us 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or chat online at http://www.thehotline.org Monday through Friday, 9am-2am CST. Our trained advocates are available to work with you to sort through the challenges and obstacles you’re facing, brainstorm next steps, and come up with safety strategies and a plan of action that are unique and tailored to your needs.


    Hotline Advocate AC

  69. I am 10 weeks pregnant and have been recently shoved many times and had someone put there hands on my neck and take the breathe out of me… I am scared how this can affect my baby

  70. Hi Lindsay!
    It sounds like you have some concerns about your safety. To connect with one of our advocates, you can reach out to us via hotline or online chat. We’re here 24/7 to help!

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