the objective of this study is to better know obstetrics nurses' perceptions concerning domestic violence involving pregnant women. thirteen obstetrics nurses who work in the pre-natal service of health care units of the municipality of rio de janeiro - rj, brazil participated in this study. the data was collected in march of 2007 through semi-structured interviews and analyzed according to bardin's content analysis. as a result, this study was able to verify that obstetrics nurses are up-to-date concerning the concept of domestic violence. they are aware of the occurrence of violence involving pregnant women and they show concern for its repercussions on the woman, her pregnancy, the child that is being generated, and the family. they point out that in some cases the gestation is the cause while in others it is a direct consequence of domestic violence. the obstetrics nurse is one of the principal agents, when qualified and sensitized, towards the prevention, identification, in giving care and accompanying the women who have lived violent situations in their pregnancies.