All women registered for antenatal care within a Swedish municipality during a 6-month period were assessed regarding acts of violence. The Abuse Assessment Screen was used on two occasions during pregnancy, and once between 4 and 20 weeks after delivery. The efficacy of repeated interviews was investigated, and characteristics of abused and non-abused women were compared. The participation rate was 93% (1038 women). Physical abuse by a close acquaintance or relative during or shortly after pregnancy was reported by 1.3%, and by 2.8% when the year preceding pregnancy was included. The lifetime prevalence of emotional, physical or sexual abuse was 19.4%. Repeated questioning increased the detection of abuse. Women abused during pregnancy reported more preceding ill-health and more elective abortions than non-abused women. Intervention against sexual violence has been on the political agenda in Sweden for several decades. Even so, physical abuse is a risk factor comparable in frequency to obstetric complications such as gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia. Routines need to be established to make questioning about violence an integral part of the standardized screening for risk factors during pregnancy.