Webinar presenter Andrew Campbell answered a number of your questions after his presentation, War in the Womb: Pregnant Partner Violence and Associated Risks for Mother and Fetus. Here are just a few of his responses.
Audience Question: Is there research that indicates whether children and infants are more likely to become targets of child abuse with PPV versus IPV?
Andrew Campbell: So I would say just in general, there is limited research out there that just based on that we know about the risk increases for mothers after the pregnancy. We know that there is an increase in violence in the home. Even if we’re just looking at emotional abuse and exposure to significant caregiver abuse, the research definitely warrants that risk increases. As regarding physical abuse to other children in the home, after PPV is something I’d have to research because I’m not aware of that being out there. It is something I would be interested in following up within my study. So, if you would like to email me, I’ll do it, I just don’t want to make sure. I just don’t want to say it’s not there and then it’d be there. But I do know the risk of emotional harm is clearly indicated, clearly increases after PPV occurs in the home.
Audience Question: Given the tragic news about religious institutions being too often a source of abuse, do you think it’s feasible to develop victim outreach programs through these organizations still? This may be outside of the research but I’d love to know your thoughts.
Andrew Campbell: I’m referring to a study which again, if anyone who’s not just the person who have the question but anyone who’s interested, you can email me I can send you access to the study, There’s a study that came out of West Virginia that looked at multiple churches and asked questions of ministers and churchgoers related to family violence and followed up and asked same questions 10 years later just to compare responses and to look at differences. Overwhelmingly, in both surveys of church-goers or individuals that went to church, I think it was close at, something like 80% said they would rather get help with dealing with family violence from the church. So they would go to the pastor before they would go to others to at least make them aware of the issue. Heartbreakingly, the ministers also share the same percentage before and after with I think it being again, close to 80% saying I would like to help but do not feel equipped to do so. So, thinking about the opportunity, I think the opportunity is great. There are barriers to overcome which are some barriers you refer to which I don’t want to minimize. But I do know there is an opportunity there to better engage the community. I’ve worked hard to do so. I’ve always tried to be a straight shooter and say it like it is and for me, I’ve had had difficulties in really engaging the faith community. But that doesn’t mean I’m near quitting and continuing to do so. I think there’s a great opportunity there. Again, are there barriers that we will have to address and acknowledge? Absolutely. But again, thinking that so many of these victims anytime we heard numbers that high from a group that’s so unlikely to disclose. If they disclose it would be to the pastor and we hear a pastor saying “well, I’d like to help but I’m not equipped to do so.” So again, that’s a major opportunity for education. One of the videos that I described that I’m putting together for free is actually for church leadership. A great question and again, thinking about the second thing that the churches are the only opportunity we have to find ways to make that opportunity, have a better likelihood of allowing us to identify and help these victims.
Click Here to Watch a Recording of War in the Womb: Pregnant Partner Violence and Associated Risks for Mother and Fetus.