‘RCM joins the global fight against domestic violence’

By RCM on 25 November 2016 Pregnancy Domestic Abuse Midwives Advice

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has today joined the UK Government, domestic abuse charity SafeLives and other key stakeholders to highlight violence against women and girls.

Beginning from today for the next 16 days (November 25th to December 3rd) the RCM will be supporting the 16 Days of Action Against Domestic Violence Campaign.

The aim is to raise awareness amongst midwives, women and key stakeholder organisations of the services available to support and help victims of domestic abuse.  

*Domestic abuse and pregnancy facts:

  • Nearly 30% of abuse starts in pregnancy.
  • 40-60% of women experiencing domestic abuse are abused during pregnancy.
  • Domestic violence has overtaken gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia as the leading cause of foetal death.

The information provided by the RCM throughout the next 16 days of action it is hoped will further enable midwives to understand the context and breathe violence against women as well further support victims.

 In addition the RCM via social media will also signpost members to sources of advice and support if they believe they have been or may be a victim of domestic abuse.

Commenting Janet Fyle Professional Policy Advisor at the Royal College Midwives (RCM) says; “Midwives and other relevant professionals who work in the maternity services have an important role to play in identifying girls and women at risk and those affected by the whole spectrum of violence against women and girls as well as domestic abuse Female Genital Mutilation, Forced Marriage, Child Marriage and so called honour killings.”

“It is important that midwives report their concerns to protect those at risk and ensure that the have knowledge of referral and care pathways, local protocols in order to provide appropriate sensitive support to victims – including health care and psychological support.”

“Midwives should also be aware of other community resources and services and legal support for women reporting violence, but must beware that it may not always be appropriate to refer the woman back to her community or discuss the issues with her family.

In addition to this multi-agency working and collaboration is crucial to the identification of local needs and the building of appropriate support services. This requires effective information sharing through building trust with victims and agencies.”


For more information on the 16 Days of Action against Domestic Violence campaign: http://16daysofaction.co.uk/the-campaign/


SafeLives: http://www.safelives.org.uk/  #CryForHealth


*Domestic violence has overtaken gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia as the leading cause of foetal death. Pregnant women are more likely to have multiple sites of injury and to be struck on the abdomen. Midwives can play a crucial role in the identification of women and families at risk of domestic abuse. Midwives should look for unexplained injuries in their patients, as well as to histories of preterm labour and birth, foetal injuries or death, abruption and unexplained maternal bleeding, which may require further exploration.

Link to further academic research http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1471-0528.1997.tb11526.x/full


To contact the RCM Press Office call 020 7312 3456, or email [email protected].


Notes to editors

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.