Special situations

Physical, mental and sexual abuse

It has been scientifically proven that 1 in 3 women in Austria have experienced abuse. Almost every second women, who becomes pregnant in an abusive relationship, continues to experience this situation during pregnancy as well. This is not just very dangerous for the woman but also for the child.

Abuse during pregnancy increases the risk of

  • Early labour
  • Low birth weight of the baby
  • Injuries to the baby
  • Miscarriages
  • Depression suffered by the mother

Do not be ashamed if you experience abuse at home! In Vienna, there are centres that will support and help women who have experienced abuse. This help is anonymous and free of charge.

Regardless of whether you personally or a pregnant woman within your circle or friends or acquaintances are affected by abuse – speak to your gynaecologist or midwife about your legitimate concerns! Or use the anonymous help service at a counselling centre.

Because: This is about you and the future and health of your child!

Female Genital Mutilation, (in short: FGM)

The World Health Organisation WHO explains female genital mutilation as follows:
“comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, be it for cultural or other non-medical reasons.” This means: any injury to the female genitalia that is not medically necessary.

The Austrian laws prohibit female genital mutilation. It is considered grievous bodily harm and profound violation of human rights.

In the Austrian Criminal Law, it states that female genital mutilation cannot be given consent (§ 90 para. 3 StGB). This cannot be done by parents for their children or by a woman, who has reached the age of maturity, for herself.

Caution! Female genital mutilation can lead to many discomforts immediately after the procedure and also have serious permanent consequences. This for example, includes sexual dysfunction, frequent infections, complications at birth and severe, life-long psychological injury.

Attention, if you give birth to a girl! In Austria it is strictly forbidden to circumcise girls.

If you are affected by female genital mutilation, please contact your doctor or the following counselling centres:

Addiction and drugs