How Domestic Violence Impacts Women’s Mental Health

According to some studies, one in every three people globally may suffer domestic abuse in some capacity. Domestic violence is a global health concern. Domestic violence is pervasive across all ages, races, and socioeconomic groups. It is understood as a behavior centered on the enslavement of another person, inflicting substantial suffering and trauma via physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.

Domestic violence may have wide-ranging impacts on how we conduct our everyday lives, how we view ourselves, how we take care of ourselves, and how we relate to others. It can sometimes lead to a variety of mental health problems, while other times it might aggravate pre-existing illnesses and make a poor situation much worse.

Adults who have suffered domestic abuse are far more likely than the overall population to have any type of mental health issue.

It has been shown that the trend is similar for men. Men who struggle with mental illnesses are also more likely to have experienced domestic abuse. However, research shows that repeating serious domestic abuse against males is significantly less likely.

Types of Domestic Abuse

Physical abuse is perhaps the most overt form of abuse. Force is used during physical abuse to humiliate, manipulate, or persuade the victim to behave in a certain way. To gain control over a spouse, it is necessary to purposely harm them. A person’s body is likely to contain a variety of wounds in various stages of healing if they are frequently subjected to blows to the body, slaps to the face, or other brutal physical contacts. Physical violence and the fear of it provide unique difficulties for women in particular. Chronic health issues including headaches and back pain have been related to experiencing frequent violence and the stress of dreading injury.

A series of cruel and humiliating words or actions can control someone’s emotions, which is referred to as emotional abuse. Intimidation and threats, it is controlling and serves as a form of punishment for the target. Different types of emotional abuse can leave a victim feeling hurt, unimportant, and anxious.

The various forms of sexual assault include some of the most heinous domestic violence. When someone is coerced into engaging in sexual activity against their will, this is known as sexual abuse.

When one person in a relationship has little or no access to money, it can be easy to ignore a hazardous type of abuse. One partner in this scenario controls the majority of the financial resources in the relationship and how they are allocated to meet needs. When one partner is excluded from opportunities that could lead to financial independence, this abuse may also manifest.

Effects of Domestic Violence

The victims’ or other family members’ mental health may suffer significantly as a result of domestic or familial violence. Being constantly terrified, unable to relax, powerless to change the situation, or ashamed to inform others might result from feeling unsafe in your own home or with the people who are supposed to love and care for you. It could cause long-term physical and psychological damage, as well as have an impact on other relationships, sleep, appetite, and concentration.

Children have frequently forgotten victims of family violence, and we are just now starting to understand the long-term effects on their mental health. Domestic violence increases a child’s likelihood of developing anxiety, depression, learning disabilities, relational issues, and drug and alcohol abuse. Additionally, they might be more likely to experience or perpetrate domestic and familial violence as adults.

Additionally, it was discovered that women with various mental health illnesses were more likely to have experienced domestic abuse than those without any mental health diagnosis. Such conclusions were:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD
  • An obsessional condition (OCD)
  • schizophrenia
  • bipolar illness
  • eating problems
  • Additional issues with mental health

It’s crucial to realize that someone’s mental health might suffer even if they don’t have PTSD, sadness, or anxiety. There are several variables that might influence whether or not someone has PTSD as a result of domestic abuse; not everyone is affected in the same manner. A victim-mental survivor’s health may be affected by things like challenges with caring, being productive at work and school, developing and maintaining good relationships, adjusting to change, and overcoming adversity.

The mental health of a victim-survivor can likewise be turned into a weapon and exploited in additional acts of violence and suffering. As part of a larger pattern of abuse and control, the victim-survivor may be subjected to the typical strategy of mental health coercion. Other types of emotional abuse, like gaslighting, are prevalent methods used to attack mental health.

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