Enhancing assessment of interpersonal violence (IPV) pregnancy-related homicide risk within nursing curricula

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Abstract

Pregnancy and motherhood traditionally represent evolution of the next generation; yet, contemporary research and analyses confirm that this time can also be manifested in fear by the expectant mother within an environment of battering, cruelty, physical and emotional abuse, and sexual assault. Often to the surprise of many healthcare providers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have consistently reported that Interpersonal Violence (IPV) related homicide is a leading cause of traumatic death among new and expectant mothers. In spite of these staggering statistical and anecdotal findings, universal screening for violence during pregnancy continues to be minimal. Forensic nurses might be prompted to respond to the consequences of violence and its resultant negative effects on expectant mothers by strategically incorporating systematic and consistent assessment into foundational nursing curricula regarding IPV as a leading risk factor for injury or death.

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