WHO: Domestic Violence Causes Women Physical and Mental Problems
New research reveals that women who are victims of domestic violence hide wide-ranging physical and mental health problems beyond the initial trauma.
The study, led by Claudia Garcia-Moreno of the World Health Organization, is the most far-reaching assessment yet into domestic violence in developing countries.
More than 24,000 women between the ages of 15 and 49, participating in the study, were asked if they had experienced physical or sexual violence by a current or former male partner. Those reporting violence were further asked if they had any subsequent physical and mental health problems.
The study was performed between 2000 and 2003 and included women from Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, Namibia, Peru, Samoa, Serbia and Montenegro, Thailand and the United Republic of Tanzania.
Many women said they had specific symptoms such as difficulty walking, trouble performing daily activities, pain, memory loss, dizziness and vaginal discharge. These women also reported increased emotional distress and suicidal thoughts or attempts, compared to women who had never been abused by their male partner. Moreover, the mental issues seem to last long after the violence has ended, the study found.