The most vulnerable moment in the life of a woman is during child birth. Domestic violence has accursed her existence even at this moment. Experts contend that this has been a major social problem on a worldwide scale. The World Health Organisation has stated that the perpetration of violence is a negation and severe infringement of human rights, which negate a woman’s dignity. Ironically, whether one hails from a developed or developing nation has no bearing on the chauvinistic treatment meted
Studies from the UK reveal that circa 42% women are victims of domestic violence or abuse. Violence has been reported from Canada and the US. A report by the metropolitan police in the UK has stated that domestic violence is the cause of 35% cases of homicide in England and Wales. Shockingly during pregnancy, far from offering respite, the frequency and intensity of domestic violence has increased. Between 3% and 5% of women in UK are reported to have suffered abuse during pregnancy at the hands of their partners. The maximum instances of death due to domestic violence in London between 2001 and 2002 were during pregnancy. In the US, the prevalence of violence increases from 5% to 34% during pregnancy. Teenagers suffer the maximum risk of violence during pregnancy and social analysts have reported that apart from teenagers, young women who are either single or divorced face the maximum risk of violence.
It is a common misconception that women from the lower socio-economic strata suffer disproportionately due to domestic violence. On the contrary, violence has affected almost all sections of women. Women from the lower strata have higher rates of reporting in comparison to the middle and higher classes. Women across race, economic development and countries have been at the receiving end of this severe social malaise. Violence is unabated even when they are pregnant.