Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Catherine Marrs Fuchsel


Social Work


This research explored the perspectives of doulas and domestic violence (DV) service providers on how strategic partnerships between them could enhance outcomes for pregnant women and new mothers who are experiencing DV. Research indicates that DV during pregnancy is a risk factor for women to experience more severe abuse including higher risk of death (Silverman, Decker, Reed, & Raj, 2006). DV service providers in partnership with doulas who have been trained to understand dynamics of DV may help many women get the support they need and likely reduce the amount of serious complications during childbirth associated with exposure to DV during pregnancy (Lesser, Maurer, Stephens, & Yolkut, 2005). Seven semi-structured interviews were conducted with DV service providers and doulas. The interviews were transcribed, coded and analyzed for themes. Ten major themes were identified: (a) What No One is Talking About, (b) Impact of DV on Childbirth, (c) A False Hope, (d) Assessment of DV during Childbirth, (e) The Power of Relationship, (f) Barriers to Safety during Childbirth (g) Challenges for Service Providers, (h) Safety Planning & Birth Planning, (i) A Power Shift, and (j) Call to Action. Discussion and potential implications of these findings were then discussed.

Included in

Social Work Commons