Pregnant people


  • Magistrates Court of Queensland, Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 Bench Book (2021).
    This bench book has material on what the protection orders require in terms of, e.g. protecting the unborn child if the woman is pregnant when the order is made (Chapter 9.8), but does not discuss any social context.


  • Neilson, Linda C, Domestic Violence Electronic Bench Book (National Judicial Institute, 2020).

    Violence during pregnancy is identified as heightening victims’ risks of experiencing domestic violence, and as increasingly the likelihood of a lethal outcome (Section 8.14.2). Further, Section 6.3.3 discusses potential impacts of domestic violence on pregnancy/birth, though this is focused on the harm caused to the foetus.

    Also see Supplementary Chapter 2’s section ‘Domestic Violence and the Fetus’, which notes ‘[p]hysical abuse during pregnancy has sometimes been identified as a risk factor for femicide’. It goes on to discuss the vulnerability of children due to having been exposed to domestic violence during pregnancy: ‘As Cunningham and Baker point out … research documenting long-term psychological damage to children connected to domestic violence during pregnancy been rather limited, although low birth weight and associated problems were reported regularly. However a considerably larger body of research examining the impact of witnessing violence on children from birth onwards, together with emerging neurological research on brain development, strongly suggests the potential for such harm. Indeed it is now reasonably well accepted that pre- and perinatal stress reactions of the mother to abuse and violence in the home can affect the development of the child. Certainly there is consensus among all domestic violence, early child-care, child-protection, medical, and mental-health experts that safety measures and economic resources ought to be directed to protecting pregnant women from domestic violence with its collateral adversities.’