Violence Against Women: Data on Pregnant Victims and Effectiveness of Prevention Strategies Are Limited

GAO-02-530 Published: May 15, 2002. Publicly Released: Jun 18, 2002.
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The Violence Against Women Act funds programs that shelter battered women, training for law enforcement officers and prosecutors, and research on violence against women. Available data on the number of pregnant women who are victims of violence are incomplete and lack comparability. There is no current national estimate of the prevalence of violence against pregnant women. Available estimates cannot be generalized to all pregnant women, and little information is available on the number of pregnant homicide victims. Health and criminal justice officials have designed multiple strategies to prevent violence against women, but their effect is unknown. Strategies to prevent violence against pregnant women are similar to those to prevent violence against all women and include public health efforts to prevent violence in the first place, intervention activities that identify and respond to violence after it occurs, and criminal justice strategies that focus on incarcerating or rehabilitating batterers.

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