Abuse, pregnancy: Abuse of an expectant mother. This abuse is most often perpetrated by the woman's spouse, partner, or relative. Spurts of temper can progress to shouting and name calling. Then pushing and shoving. The use of physical violence can start a pattern. It is estimated that 1 in 12 pregnant women is battered. Most cases of pregnancy abuse are not reported because the woman who was beaten is afraid or ashamed or is dependent on the abuser.