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Offering Hope to Mothers & Children Navigating Violence

TFC was delighted to partner with Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies—The Montana Coalition last month for two special episodes of the Mother Love podcast focused on the challenges faced by expectant mothers and children who experience domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Our own Jaime Gabrielli discusses the gravity of this topic and invites you to listen to this powerful double-header.

Domestic violence is a public health crisis that impacts up to 20% of pregnant women. While most of us are aware of common risks associated with pregnancy, like gestational diabetes, preterm labor, and high blood pressure, many do not know that homicide is the leading cause of death of expectant mothers in the United States.

Because both moms and children in domestic violence situations face increased emotional and physical health risks, they need and deserve specialized perinatal and parenting support. However, finding a safe way to access resources and escape abusive relationships in these vulnerable circumstances can seem insurmountable. That is why building informed networks within our community that connect survivors and their kids with the help they need is critical.

When we assist clients who are pregnant or parenting small children, we are fortunate to have a stellar resource to refer people to in Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies—The Montana Coalition (HMHB-MT). HMHB-MT works across the state to promote healthy beginnings and improve the safety and well-being of mothers and families. One exciting way they support families is through the powerful storytelling they share on the Mother Love podcast. Hosted by the insightful and big-hearted Claire Larson, Mother Love has for the past four years been a space where guests speak honestly about parenting challenges and how these issues can impact maternal and newborn health.

Recently, our Executive Director Gina Boesdorfer and I had the opportunity to join Claire on Mother Love to talk about the ways domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking present significant threats and health concerns to expectant mothers and children. We also had the privilege of sharing the spirit of hope we witness as our clients overcome these challenges and reclaim their lives. Our conversation was the first of two episodes dedicated to this important topic.

In the second part of this double-header, former TFC client Lisa Croke joined Claire to talk about her remarkable and courageous journey as a mother and survivor of domestic violence. Her firsthand account unveils the complex and covert nature of domestic abuse and is a poignant reminder that intimate partner violence can happen to anyone. Lisa’s story of resilience and perseverance is a testament to TFC’s steadfast belief in the power of survivors to reclaim and define their own lives. It also shows the unstoppable hope and strength in a mother’s love for her children.

We hope listeners will gain a better understanding of the complicated and dangerous reality parents living with domestic violence face every day and how—directly and indirectly—this issue impacts every one of us. By recognizing the true nature of intimate partner abuse and providing support and compassion to survivors, we can all contribute to healthier beginnings and help families move beyond surviving, to thriving.

We’re so thankful to Claire and the HMHB-MT team for making space to talk about these issues with open hearts and open minds, and we’re especially grateful to Lisa for sharing her story. We know you will find it as awe-inspiring as we do. Listen below or find both episodes wherever you get your podcasts.


Is there a survivor in your life that you want to help? Check out Jaime’s tips for supporting survivors and visit our services page to learn about the free, confidential, 24/7 support she and all our advocates are ready to offer survivors in our tri-county area.


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