One of the most dangerous times for a victim of domestic violence is during pregnancy. Nearly 20% of individuals experience violence during pregnancy, with pregnant adolescents and those with unintended pregnancies at an increased risk (vawnet). For many, violence begins or escalates during this time and can turn lethal. In fact, homicide is the leading cause of death in pregnancy and the post-partum period – just one of many reasons the recent reversal of Roe Vs. Wade is catastrophic for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Reproductive coercion is a tactic used by harm doers to maintain power and control over their victims. While we acknowledge that there are many diverse opinions about the recent decision, Safe + Sound Somerset is committed to ensuring that safe and legal access to abortion and reproductive health care is an option for survivors and everyone who may need it.
As a provider on the front lines supporting survivors for more than forty years, we have witnessed firsthand the devastation caused when an individual’s autonomous decision-making is removed due to abuse of power and control. Maintaining choice over body autonomy is a tenant of our survivor-centered Core Value. Abortion access is not only a matter of life and death for survivors of domestic and sexual violence but potentially a necessary option for those on the pathway to healing.
Abortion is a complex, emotionally laden and difficult choice to make. The freedom to explore that choice is paramount to an individual’s right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness, free of violence. For survivors, the ability to choose restores power and control over their lives.
Safe + Sound Somerset pledges to be part of the local, state, and nationwide effort to ensure that safe and legal abortions are accessible to survivors – if they need them and if they choose. Watch our social media, media blasts and upcoming blogs for ongoing information on how you can join us in the support for rights for survivors and all those impacted by this decision.
Michelle Bauman Michele E Boronkas
Chair, Board of Trustees Chief Executive Officer
On Behalf of Safe+Sound Somerset
Board of Trustees