Domestic violence and perinatal mental health

Roxanne C. Keynejad*, Claire A. Wilson, Louise M. Howard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Domestic violence (DV) is a major public health problem worldwide, impacting the physical and mental health, wellbeing and safety of women and families. DV during pregnancy is associated with additional health consequences, including obstetric risks, mental health problems, suicide and femicide. This chapter outlines the prevalence of DV globally and during pregnancy, its impact on perinatal physical and mental health and the evidence for interventions addressing the mental health of pregnant women experiencing DV. The perinatal period is an important opportunity for health services to identify women experiencing DV, initiate first-line support and connect them to appropriate agencies. Mental health professionals in contact with pregnant and postpartum women are well-placed to identify and support women experiencing DV. Addressing DV alongside perinatal mental health enables holistic care plans to be tailored to the bio-psycho-social factors precipitating and perpetuating women's symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationKey Topics in Perinatal Mental Health
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783030918323
ISBN (Print)9783030918316
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2022


  • Abuse
  • Common mental disorders
  • Domestic violence
  • Family violence
  • Interventions
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Perinatal mental health
  • Pregnancy
  • Social determinants of health


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