Long-Term Effects of Domestic Abuse
Domestic Abuse has a wide range and often long-term effects on victims. Domestic violence is the most common cause of injury to women ages 18 to 44. Effects can be physical and psychological, affecting any children who witness parental abuse.
PHYSICAL EFFECTS Victims suffer physical and mental problems as a result of domestic abuse. Battering is the single major cause of injury to women, even more than auto accidents, rapes or muggings. Women who sustain physical injuries in their early adult lives develop medical problems like arthritis, hypertension and heart disease as they age. Diabetes or hypertension may be aggravated in victims because the abuser kept them from accessing medical care. Physical injuries, chronic pelvic pain, abdominal and gastrointestinal ailments, frequent vaginal or urinary tract infections, STDs, and HIV are associated with abuse or violence. Additionally, women who are battered during pregnancy are a higher risk for poor weight gain, pre-term labor, miscarriage, low infant birth weight, and injury to or death of the fetus.
PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS Emotional and psychological abuse inflicted by batterers has longer-term effects and may be more costly to treat in the short-run than physical injury. Depression is the most common effect of abuse. Additionally, battered women are at greater risk for suicide attempts. Victims may also experience PTSD, characterized by flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, emotional numbing, insomnia, hyper-vigilance, and may avoid traumatic triggers.
ECONOMIC EFFECTS Many times, victims lose their jobs because of absenteeism due to illness or injuries. Appearances in court proceedings can also jeopardize their job. To avoid violence, victims may move many times which is costly. Victims may have to quit their jobs because they relocate and must look for work elsewhere. To avoid further abuse, the victim may divorce the abuser, which results in loss of financial security.
IMPACTS ON CHILDREN One-third of children who grow up in violent homes demonstrate significant behavioral and/or emotional problems. Anytime a mother is abused by her partner, the children are affected. They may have difficulty making friends or fear adults. They may use violence for solving problems at school or at home and are at greater risk of being a runaway, being suicidal, or committing criminal acts as juveniles and adults. Children who witness abuse in the home are more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol. BOYS WHO WITNESS FAMILY VIOLENCE ARE MORE LIKELY TO BECOME BATTERS AS ADULTS AND GIRLS HAVE A HIGHER RATE OF ENTERING ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS. These are facts, not myth.
NO ONE deserves to be abused. THERE IS NO EXCUSE! If you are being abused, it is time to get help. You deserve to be safe. If you are in immediate danger, contact the LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Office at 318-992-2151. To speak with a victim advocate, call 318-992-2067 or call the Domestic Violence Hotline 1-888-411-1333.