Resources for Domestic Abuse Victims in the Greenville, SC Area

What is domestic abuse? 

“Abuse is a repetitive pattern of behaviors to maintain power and control over an intimate partner. These are behaviors that physically harm, arouse fear, prevent a partner from doing what they wish or force them to behave in ways they do not want. Abuse includes the use of physical and sexual violence, threats and intimidation, emotional abuse and economic deprivation. Many of these different forms of abuse can be going on at any one time.” (“Abuse Defined”. The National Domestic Violence Hotline. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Aug. 2016.)

Sometimes, during a pregnancy, a troubled partner may turn to these types of behaviors. Do not wait until pregnancy to get help if you have reason to think signs of any of these behaviors are present. Use all the lists on this blog for help.

Call 911 if you are in immediate danger.

A relationship is abusive if your partner (for example: boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse) has a repetitive pattern with any of the following behaviors:

  • Embarrassing you or making fun of you in front of your friends, family, or teachers.
  • Putting down your accomplishments or goals.
  • Controlling your finances against your will.
  • Making you feel like he/she is smarter and that you are unable to make decisions.
  • Using intimidation or threats to get his/her way.
  • Telling you that you are nothing without him/her.
  • Treating you roughly (for example: grabbing, pushing, pinching, shoving, or hitting you).
  • Intimidating you with objects that could cause harm (for example: knives, belts, guns).
  • Calling you several times a night or showing up unexpectedly to check on you.
  • Using drugs or alcohol as an excuse for saying hurtful things or abusing you.
  • Blaming you for how he/she feels.
  • Pressuring you sexually for things you are not ready for.
  • Pressuring you to do self-harming things (for example: drugs, alcohol).
  • Making you feel like there is no way out of the relationship.
  • Hurting your pets or threatening to do so.
  • Defacing or destroying your personal property.
  • Preventing you from going or doing things you want with your friends or by yourself.
  • Trying to keep you from leaving after a fight.
  • Making you feel like everything that does not go right is your fault.

(“Abuse Defined”. The National Domestic Violence Hotline. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Aug. 2016.)

Domestic Violence Safety Tips:

  • During an argument, or if you feel tension building, avoid areas in your home where weapons might be available (for example: the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, or workshops).
  • If there are weapons in your household, such as firearms, lock them up.
  • Know where there is a safe exit from your home (for example: a window, elevator, or stairwell).
  • Discuss the situation with a trusted neighbor if you can. Ask him/her to call 911 if he/she hears a disturbance. Find a code word to use with them if you need the police.
  • Always keep a packed bag ready.
  • Know where you would go to be safe if you have to leave, even if you don’t really think you need to.

Resources in the Greenville, SC Area for Domestic Abuse Victims

1 (800) 799-SAFE

1 (864) 467-3633 (24/7 Crisis Hotline)

1 (800) 291-2139 (24-Hour Crisis Line)

1 (864) 242-6933

1 (864) 268-5589

1 (864) 235-4803

1 (864) 232-6463

Marijuana Use During Pregnancy

Marijuana (also known as pot or weed) is formally known as cannabis sativa. It is used in a variety of ways to obtain a pleasant feeling or even encourage food intake. The active part of the drug, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), passes easily into the body’s bloodstream. It makes its way into the brain to cause the high and other sometimes not so desired effects. In a pregnant user, besides affecting her, it also affects the unborn child. If you have questions regarding marijuana use, please contact us for a FREE appointment. Our women’s clinic can educate you on health factors related to marijuana use in pregnancy.

As more is desired, the woman may be led to more potent drugs with even more dangerous effects. Addiction leads to poor performance and the risk of auto accidents increases. The high becomes very costly to the woman in every way possible, including her normal responsibilities. More physically dangerous actions occur, and effects become uncontrollable. The little person in the womb needs only nourishment from his/her mother, but he/she does not need the likely negative effects from a questionable drug.

Hospital studies have been done of marijuana users who were intoxicated and/or mentally impaired. Emergency room (ER) admissions show its most negative effects as some of these ER patients had dangerously combined marijuana with other drugs. Synthetic cannabinoids (synthetic marijuana) use has become another reason for ER visits. Dangerous results made by poor judgment were likely increased or caused by the marijuana’s effects. Younger age concerns exist in this picture. “Marijuana was the most commonly reported primary substance of abuse among admissions that initiated substance use at the age of 14 or younger” (SAMHSA Treatment Episode Data 2011).

What about brain formation concerns in the baby? Although findings are not all in, here is an example of what is known. A Swedish researcher’s finding was that circuit pathways in the brain can be permanently damaged from drugs. He explained that this damage occurs to a part (an axon) of a nerve cell. The process that sends impulses to another nerve cell does not happen in some pathways. Even if these pathways are not used for a long period of time, these axons can cause the brain’s nerves in those pathways to not properly communicate. Studies have shown increased incidence of mental illnesses and addiction tendencies in children that were exposed to cannabis while in the womb. For this reason, the respected medical researcher made the statement that “cannabis should be avoided during pregnancy” (Healthline News, 01/28/2014).

The British Medical Journal Open published an article earlier this year regarding effects of marijuana on fetal outcome, and from the 24 studies in this review, researchers concluded that exposure to marijuana in utero may affect the baby after delivery, although not structural birth defects, but effects such as low birth weight or need for NICU (BMJ Open, 04/05/2016).

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) reported in July 2015 that 48-60% of female marijuana users continue their use of marijuana during pregnancy, because they may believe that marijuana use is not putting them or their baby in any danger. However, according to ACOG, studies suggest that marijuana exposure in utero may affect the child’s attention span and school performance, as well as possibly contributing to behavioral problems down the road. ACOG recommends that all pregnant women discontinue marijuana use.

Get OB care for your pregnancy, and follow your doctor’s guidance for going off drugs safely. Refusing marijuana and other drugs of abuse presented to you before and while pregnant is a major way to provide health for you, your pregnancy, and your child.

Source of information and quotes:

Barclay, Rachel; Healthline News (, quote by professor Tibor Harkany  at Karolinka Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (

SAMHSA (; this agency can offer help to deal with substance abuse and addiction.

Gunn, J.K.L., Rosales, C.B., Center, K.B., Nunez, A., Gibson, S.J., Christ, C., Ehirir, J.E. British Medical Journal Open. Prenatal exposure to cannabis and maternal and child health outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis., 04/05/2016.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Committee Opinion: Marijuana Use During Pregnancy and Lactation. Number 637, July 2015.

Resources for parents to find specialized care for their children:

Child Development Services is a link between several different agencies in the City of Greenville, SC and Greenville County (

SC First Steps (

Nurse-Family Partnership (

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA,

How does the morning-after pill work?

After the sperm penetrates and fertilizes the egg, 46 human chromosomes come together in a one-of-a-kind genetic design that determines a person’s eye and hair color, gender, skin tone, height and even the intricate swirl of the fingerprints.

Depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle, the pill could affect you in one of three ways:

  • It may prevent ovulation: The egg will not be released to meet the sperm—so fertilization, sometimes known as conception, can’t occur.
  • It may affect the lining of your fallopian tubes so that sperm cannot reach the egg. This also prevents fertilization.
  • It may irritate the lining of your uterus. If an egg has already been released and fertilized by the sperm, this irritation could make it harder for the embryo to implant in your uterus.

Source: © 2009, 2012 Focus on the Family “The Morning-After Pill” pamphlet

Footnote 1: FDA Prescribing and Label Information for Plan B One-Step®, Rev. July 2009; pp. 13-14;

Footnote 2: FDA Prescribing and Label Information for Plan B One-Step®, Rev. July 2009, p. 13; See footnote 1

Emergency Contraception — What is an Intra-Uterine Device (IUD)?

There are two kinds of emergency contraception — the morning-after pill and Intra-Uterine Devices (IUDs).  In this blog we will talk about an intra-uterine device (IUD).

  • So, what is an Intra-Uterine Device (IUD)?

An Intra-Uterine Device (IUD) is a generic term for a device that is placed in your uterus to prevent pregnancy. Paragard® (intrauterine copper contraceptive) is a brand that offers a copper-releasing device that is placed in your uterus to prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years. A ParaGard® IUD insertion costs between $500 and $900 and is inserted by a doctor or nurse at a health center. There are several cautions before using Paragard®. Do not use Paragard® if you have a pelvic infection, get infections easily or have certain cancers. Some users get a serious infection called pelvic inflammatory disease. Occasionally, Paragard® may attach to or in rare cases may go through the uterine wall and may also cause other problems. In some cases, surgical removal may be necessary. Pregnancy while using Paragard® can be life threatening and may result in loss of pregnancy or fertility. Paragard® does not protect against HIV or STDs and is available by prescription only.

Think carefully before you use Paragard®, and make sure you understand the side effects and risks. Piedmont Women’s Center offers support as you consider whether emergency contraceptives or abortion may be for you and answers any questions you may have. Please give us a call at 864-244-1434. It is safe, confidential, and our all-women team is supportive for whatever need you are facing.


What is an Emergency Contraception—and more specifically, the morning-after pill?

There are two kinds of emergency contraception — the morning-after pill and Paragard®  insertion. In this blog we will talk about the morning-after pill.

  • The morning-after pill or Plan B® is a drug intended to be taken as soon as possible within the first 72 hours after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy. It contains a high dose of a progesterone (levonorgestrel), which is found in many kinds of birth control pills. At the dosage found in the morning-after pill, this drug may irritate the lining of your uterus, causing the embryo inside you from implanting, ending its life. If this happens, an abortion will occur, because each human life begins as an embryo. The morning-after pill is often referred to by the brand name that started it all—Plan B®. In 2009, Plan B® was reformulated and renamed Plan B One-Step®. It is now taken as a single-dose tablet. A two-dose generic form is also available.  The morning-after pill costs around $30 to $65, and some emergency contraceptions depend on your body mass index (BMI), in order to determine how effective they may be. The morning-after pill does not protect against HIV or STDs.

Think carefully before you use the morning-after pill, and make sure you understand the side effects and risks. Piedmont Women’s Center offers support as you consider whether emergency contraceptives may be for you. Please give us a call at 864-244-1434 . It is safe, confidential, and our all-women team is supportive for whatever need you are facing.

Source: © 2009, 2012 Focus on the Family “The Morning-After Pill” pamphlet

Footnote 1: FDA Prescribing and Label Information for Plan B One-Step®, Rev. July 2009; pp. 13-14;

Footnote 2: Keith L. Moore and T.V.N. Persaud. The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 6th Edition (Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 1998), pp.2-3

Footnote 3: “Watson Pharmaceuticals Receives FDA Approval for Generic Plan B® for Over-the-Counter Use”; August 28, 2009: