Interpersonal Violence and the Pregnant Homeless Woman

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Abstract

Homelessness continues to increase in the United States. Families comprise the fastest growing segment of the homeless population, and estimates suggest that women head 90% of homeless families. Pregnant homeless women are exposed to more cumulative violence than are comparable low-income, housed women. Intervention strategies that may improve health care provided to pregnant homeless women include abuse and safety assessment protocols and the use of a hand-carried health record. These interventions are directed at efforts to preserve the woman's autonomy and confidentiality, reduce areas of client-provider conflict, and generally improve encounters between the client and the health care system.

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