- The physical and emotional health consequences of violence against women are profound and enduring.
- Even for women who are able to leave abusive relationships, the consequences often persist long after the violence has ended, and in some cases continue throughout the woman’s lifetime.
- In general, the more prolonged and severe the abuse, the greater its impact on a woman’s physical and mental health.
- The economic costs related to violence against women are staggering and place a tremendous burden on society, both with respect to lost productivity and increased demands on health and social services.
- These costs include short-term medical and dental treatment for injuries, long-term physical and psychological care, lost time at work, and use of transition homes and crisis centres.
- Indirect costs include the increased utilization of health care services in the immediate and long-term aftermath of abuse including a greater number of surgeries, visits to health providers, hospital stays, and mental health consultations than those who have not been similarly victimized.
Impact on Children
- Respiratory tract infections
- Somatic complaints (e.g., headaches)
- Gastrointestinal disorders (e.g., nausea, diarrhea)
- Sleep difficulties (e.g., nightmares, bedwetting)
- Speech, hearing, and visual problems
Psychological and Behavioural Effects:
- Depression and anxiety
- Worry and frustration
- Low self-esteem
- Stress-related disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Low social competence
- Increased aggression with adults and other children
- Attachment problems
- Difficulties in school performance
- Substance abuse
- Suicidal behaviour and self harm
- Conflicts with the law
Women and Children
Woman Abuse: Screening, Identification and Initial Response