Sanctuary for the Abused

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Health Effects of Domestic Violence



The effects of violence on a victim's health are severe. In addition to the immediate injuries from the assault, battered women may suffer from chronic pain, gastrointestinal disorders, psychosomatic symptoms, and eating problems. Although psychological abuse is often considered less severe than physical violence, health care providers and advocates around the world are increasingly recognizing that all forms of domestic violence can have devastating physical and emotional health effects. Domestic violence is associated with mental health problems such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression.

Women who are abused suffer an increased risk of unplanned or early pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. As trauma victims, they are also at an increased risk of substance abuse. According to a U.S. study, women who experience intimate partner abuse are three times more likely to have gynecological problems than non-abused women.
From Violence Against Women: Effects on Reproductive Health, Outlook, vol. 20, no. 1 (September 2002).


Women are particularly vulnerable to attacks when pregnant, and thus may more often experience medical difficulties in their pregnancies. Recent research has called for increased study of pregnancy associated deaths. "Pregnancy associated deaths" are "deaths occurring to women who have been pregnant within the previous year." A study conducted by researchers in Maryland of 247 pregnancy associated deaths found that the leading cause of death was homicide. The researchers have called for "enhanced surveillance" of pregnancy associated deaths and additional research focusing more specifically on the role of domestic violence. From Nancy K.D. Lemon, Health Watch, in Domestic Violence Report, vol. 8, no. 5, 69, 69 (June/July 2003) (citing Isabelle L. Horon & Diana Cheng, Enhanced Surveillance for Pregnancy-Associated Mortality—Maryland, 1993-1998, in JAMA vol. 285, no. 11, 1455 (21 March 2001)).

Other studies have shown that there are significant obstetric risk factors associated with domestic violence. Abused women are more likely to have a history of sexually transmitted disease infections, vaginal and cervical infections, kidney infections and bleeding during pregnancy, all of which are risk factors for pregnant women. Abused women are more likely to delay prenatal care and are less likely to receive antenatal care. In fact, "[i]ntimate partner abuse during pregnancy may be a more significant risk factor for pregnancy complications than other conditions for which pregnant women are routinely screened, such as hypertension and diabetes." From Violence Against Women: Effects on Reproductive Health, Outlook, vol. 20, no. 1 (September 2002).

As discussed in more detail in the section on marital rape, in many countries, marriage is believed to grant men unconditional sexual access to their wives, and to permit the use of violence if their wives do not comply. Women's lack of sexual autonomy in these situations puts them at risk of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. Recent research in Nicaragua, for example, suggests that domestic abuse increases the likelihood that women will have many children and found that abused women were twice as likely to have four or more children. From Ending Violence Against Women, in Population Reports, vol. 7, no. 4 (December 1999).

Domestic violence can be fatal; women are both intentionally murdered by their partners and lose their life as a result of injuries inflicted by them. In particular, recent studies in the United States have focused on choking or strangulation, a tactic often used by batterers. Because choking or strangulation rarely leaves vivid external physical marks, police may not recognize the victim's need for medical assistance or the seriousness of the violence. Injuries resulting from choking or strangulation can often be lethal; such injuries "may appear mild initially but they can kill the victim within 36 hours." From When Abusers Choke Their Victims, Violence Against Women 22-5 (Joan Zorza ed., 2002).

In addition to the danger of death from injury or intentional homicides, research also indicates that women who are abused may be more likely to commit suicide. The Family Violence Prevention Fund, reporting on a 1995 study, stated that 29% of all women in the United States who attempted suicide were battered. UNICEF reports that a "close correlation between domestic violence and suicide has been established based on studies in the United States, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Peru, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Suicide is 12 times as likely to have been attempted by a woman who has been abused than by one who has not." From UNICEF, Domestic Violence Against Women and Girls, 6 Innocenti Digest 1, 4 (2000).

The World Health Organization's Factsheet and Violence Against Women: Health Consequences detail the health consequences of violence against women around the world. The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control and the Family Violence Prevention Fund provides an excellent overview of the health effects of domestic violence on women and children.

For a list of research and reports on the health effects of domestic violence, click here.

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shared by Barbara at 12:44 AM


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1 Comments:

Holy cow! I honestly have no idea why all this stuff continues to go on. Oh wait a minute, because we refuse to let the world know about psychopathy! Or evil. Nope, let's just continue to tell everyone with a conscience that they somehow WANTED to be abused even when they never had a choice, were lied to by everyone including "experts" in the psychology field who just invent a new diagnosis or tweak the oldies. And the pastors at our churches who often endorse men abusing their wives and when the women seeks help or support, the church turns and gives the support to the ABUSER. Let's dump duty-based religion instead of the saving grace of Jesus on their heads and tell them to take all the abuse as they are working their way to heaven, instead of telling them that all they have to do is accept Jesus's once for all sacrifice. (The price is already paid in full!) Oh yes, let's just keep pouring it on and I'm sure we humans can fix all these problems even though we have never really fixed anything. All the same sin, different face.

Did you say you wanted instant access to child porn/rape? Not a problem. We keep the woman in developing or politically-invasive cultures poping out children who are then ripe for the pickins'. The mothers are completely dependent on men and have no way to protect or care for their children. (And this goes on in the western cultures too.) CAN ANYONE SEE HOW IT IS TOO LATE? That the more we try to please the world, the more the world moves it's boundary markers further and further out? How did it get to sodom and gomorrah? They were still marrying and having children just like in Noah's day before the flood. Can we now SEE that the "healthier" we are as a population, (when we should be living well with freedom and health etc. and able to care for others) we actually end up destroying ourselves? With the internet instant access technology, all of our problems should be solved, right! Yet I'd bet that the advance of evil has spread like never before.

Here's a neat little quote just to add a little light heartedness and to give you something to think about: "Wait on Your Boaz! To all the girls who are in a hurry to have a boyfriend or get married, a piece of Biblical advice: “Ruth patiently waited for her mate Boaz.” While you are waiting on YOUR Boaz, don’t settle for any of his relatives: Broke-az, Po-az, Lyin-az, Cheatin-az, Dumb-az, Drunk-az, Cheap-az, Lockedup-az, Goodfornothingaz, Lazyaz and especially his third cousin Beatinyouaz. Wait on your Boaz and make sure he respects Yoaz!"

6:49 PM  

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