More Sexist Legislation in the UK
Will it ever STOP? Probably not! This during one of the most joyous times in a couples lives, the UK has decided that they must make this a time of suspicion and detraction for a truly wondrous moment. What are they thinking? I guess that this the point they are not! I have no problem with this practice IF and ONLY IF there is reason to question but to mandate this question every time a woman has a baby is truly immoral!
From The Times
October 21, 2004
Midwives to ask all pregnant women: does your husband beat you up?
By Sam Lister Health Correspondent
DOCTORS and midwives are to ask all pregnant women if they have been beaten by their partners as part of a crackdown on domestic violence, ministers said yesterday.
Mothers-to-be will be discreetly questioned by healthcare staff during ante-natal check-ups.
Health workers will also try to establish if women are at risk of becoming subject to domestic violence for the first time before their child is born, because research shows that 30 per cent of such cases begin or intensify during pregnancy.
The Department of Health acknowledged that staff would have to be careful not to ask sensitive questions in front of husbands or boyfriends. It was suggested that the topic of domestic violence could be brought up when a woman attends a clinic on her own.
Melanie Johnson, the Public Health Minister, said that an advisory board had been formed to draw up plans to introduce the scheme. “The fact that domestic violence often starts or escalates during pregnancy and is associated with increases in rates of miscarriage, low birth weight, premature birth, foetal injury and foetal death makes for stark reading.
“By including a routine inquiry when women go for ante-natal appointments, health professionals may be able to establish whether women are at risk or have experienced any domestic violence during their pregnancy.
“This is an effective means of ensuring that the appropriate support and advice is offered at an early stage and will ensure that help is given to women where and when it is needed.”
One in four women will be hit by her partner at some time in her life and victims tend to suffer repeated attacks — on average 35 — before seeking help.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal, the Minister for Criminal Justice System and Law Reform, said: “Often domestic violence is a hidden crime where victims suffer in silence and isolation and this initiative will make a positive impact in helping women to escape abuse.”
The Department of Health hopes to implement the policy next year.
Dame Karlene Davis, general secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, welcomed the new steps to help victims of domestic violence. “Midwives are the first point of contact for mothers-to-be and the lead health professional for the first 28 days of a baby’s life.
“This position makes them ideally placed to ensure that victims will be identified and provided with support, advice and referral appropriate to their needs.
Dame Karlene added: “Midwives and other healthcare professionals will now be better able to identify and help victims of domestic violence as long as the Government follows through with the adequate resources that these new support mechanisms require.
“These resources, allied to the new steps, will improve co-ordination of services and enable midwives and other healthcare professionals to undertake any further training required,” she said.
Mary Newburn, the head of policy research at the National Childbirth Trust, said: “Finding out whether women are in a violent relationship is one thing. Having the time, contacts and other resources to respond in a helpful way is something else. A domestic violence co-ordinator role would be helpful.”