Relationship Violence and The Doula

In this session, Gilliland utilizes her training as a perinatal professional and women’s advocate to speak compassionately and supportively about the issue of relationship violence. Doulas may inadvertently find themselves supporting a mother experiencing emotional, financial, sexual or physical abuse. This session explores the realities of relationship violence, and appropriate responses that are within the doula’s role to help alleviate ethical dilemmas and keep doulas safe.

Objectives: At the end of this session, participants should be able to:

  1. Describe the different types of abuse that may be a part of a violent relationship.
  2. Illustrate why teenage women often experience relationship abuse.
  3. Outline the possible consequences of seeking help and how they affect a mother’s choices to leave or stay in an abusive relationship.
  4. Recognize the importance of the doula’s role as a reliable support person for the labor and birth in the mother’s life.
  5. List three strategies to maximize the doula’s safety when working with a mother who may be in a violent or abusive relationship.

Length: 60 minutes

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