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Domestic Violence it's effects on women and children

May 08, 2008 - 8 comments

Effects of Domestic Violence
Health Consequences For Victims of Domestic Violence
Psychological consequences:
• Stress-related disorders
• Sleep disturbances
• Depression
• Suicidal ideation/actions
• Post-traumatic stress disorder
• Alcohol and other substance abuse
• Eating disorders
Physiologic consequences:
• Chronic pain of all kinds (migranes/headaches, pelvic pain)
• Chest pain/heart palpitations
• Irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal problems
• Pelvic inflammatory disease
• Urinary tract infections
• Sexually transmitted infections
• Hearing loss
• Stammering
• Vision problems
Effects of Domestic Violence on Victims
Produces Thinking Errors:
• Second Guessing
• Self Blaming
• Self-Effacement
• Internalizing Offender’s View
• Profound Pessimism
Changes Affect and Mood:
• Perception of Hopelessness
• Anger Outbursts
• Fluctuations in Mood
• Multiple Fears
• Multiple Anxieties
Changes Self-View:
• Diminished Sense of Self-Efficacy
• Lowered Self-Esteem                  
• Perception of Helplessness

Changes World View:
• Dangerous
• Unpredictable
• Unreliable
• Untrustworthy


Effects on Children
Children exposed to family violence are at risk for developing:
• Impaired brain functioning, cognitive development and information processing
• Destructive relational patterns (distorted images of relationships, family and gender roles)
• Psychopathology (internalizing behaviors such as depression as well as externalizing behaviors such as
antisocial behaviors like stealing)
• Low self-esteem
• More depression and anxiety
• Greater behavioral and attention problems in school
• Delinquent behavior in adolescence
• Violent behavior in adulthood
• Poor coping behaviors that often lead to responding less appropriately to situations
• More aggressive behavior with peers
• More ambivalent relationships with caregivers
Effects of domestic violence at different age-levels:

• Pre-Natal:
o Increased miscarriages due to increased beatings and/or mother’s stress
o Poor health due to mother’s stress and lack of proper nutrition

• Infants:
o Crying and irritability
o Sleep disturbances
o Digestive problems

• Toddlers & Preschoolers:
o More aggressive than other children or
o More withdrawn than other children
o Impaired cognitive abilities
o Delays in verbal development
o Poor motor abilities
o General fearfulness, anxiety
o Stomach aches
o Nightmares
o Lack of bowel and bladder control in children over three years
o Lack of confidence to begin new tasks

• School Age:
o Poor grades, or in special classes (SLD, EH)
o Failure of one or more grade levels
o Poor social skills
o Low self esteem
o General aggressiveness
o Violent outbursts of anger
o Bullying or Withdrawn, dependent
o Bed wetting
oo Digestive problems, ulcers
o Headaches (not related to eye strain or sinus)

• Teenagers:
o Poor grades, failure in school, quits school
o Low self esteem
o Refuses to bring friends home
o Stays away from home or runaway
o Feels responsible to take care of home and mother
o Violent outbursts of anger, destroying property
o Poor judgment, irresponsible decision making
o Unable to communicate feelings
o Immaturity
o Withdrawn, few friends
o Nightmares
o Ulcers, digestive problems
o Bed wetting
o Headaches
o Severe acne
o Males hitting their girlfriends or females hit by their boyfriends




Comments
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199177 tn?1490502134
by avisg, May 12, 2008
I am getting very concerned for some of our ladies PLZ don't let others harm you !!!! You are worth so much more.

Avatar universal
by confused456, May 12, 2008
WOW, I had not even seen this post before. Thank you avisg!! You truly are wonderful for caring so much about all of us and thank you so much!!!!!!!!!

199177 tn?1490502134
by avisg, May 20, 2008


here is some more info

Long Term Effects of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence has wide ranging and sometimes long-term effects on victims. The effects can be both physical and psychological and can impact the direct victim as well as any children who witness parental violence.


Physical Effects
The physical health effects of domestic violence are varied, but victims are known to suffer physical and mental problems as a result of domestic violence. Battering is the single major cause of injury to women, more significant that auto accidents, rapes, or muggings. (O'Reilly, 1983).

Many of the physical injuries sustained by women seem to cause medical difficulties as women grow older. Arthritis, hypertension and heart disease have been identified by battered women as directly caused by aggravated by domestic violence early in their adult lives. Medical disorders such as diabetes or hypertension may be aggravated in victims of domestic violence because the abuser may not allow them access to medications or adequate medical care. (Perrone, 1992).

Victims may experience physical injury (lacerations, bruises, broken bones, head injuries, internal bleeding), chronic pelvic pain, abdominal and gastrointestinal complaints, frequent vaginal and urinary tract infections, sexually transmitted diseases, and HIV. (Jones & Horan, 1997 and Bohn & Holz, 1996).

Victims may also experience pregnancy-related problems. Women who are battered during pregnancy are at higher risk for poor weight gain, pre-term labor, miscarriage, low infant birth weight, and injury to or death of the fetus.


Psychological Effects
While the primary and immediate focus for many people is the physical injury suffered by victims, the emotional and psychological abuse inflicted by batterers likely has longer term impacts and may be more costly to treat in the short-run than physical injury. (Straus, 1986, 1988, 1990).

Depression remains the foremost response, with 60% of battered women reporting depression (Barnett, 2000).

In addition, battered women are at greater risk for suicide attempts, with 25% of suicide attempts by Caucasian women and 50% of suicide attempts by African American women preceded by abuse (Fischbach & Herbert, 1997).

Along with depression, domestic violence victims may also experience Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which is characterized by symptoms such as flashbacks, intrusive imagery, nightmares, anxiety, emotional numbing, insomnia, hyper-vigilance, and avoidance of traumatic triggers. Several empirical studies have explored the relationship between experiencing domestic violence and developing PTSD. Vitanza, Vogel, and Marshall (1995) interviewed 93 women reporting to be in long-term, stressful relationships. The researchers looked at the relationships among psychological abuse, severity of violence in the relationship, and PTSD. The results of the study showed a significant correlation between domestic violence and PTSD. In each group in the study (psychological abuse only, moderate violence, and severe violence), women scored in the significant range for PTSD. Overall, 55.9% of the sample met diagnostic criteria for PTSD. In further support of the strong relationship between domestic violence and PTSD, Mertin and Mohr (2000), interviewed 100 women in Australian shelters, each of whom had experienced domestic violence. They found that 45 of the 100 women met diagnostic criteria for PTSD.

Children may develop behavioral or emotional difficulties after experiencing physical abuse in the context of domestic violence or after witnessing parental abuse. Responses in children may vary from aggression to withdrawal to somatic complaints. In addition, children may develop symptoms of depression, anxiety, or PTSD (Harway & Hansen, 1994).


Economic Effects
Victims often lose their jobs because of absenteeism due to illness as a result of the violence. Absences occasioned by court appearances can also jeopardize their livelihood. Victims may have to move many times to avoid violence. Moving is costly and can interfere with continuity of employment. Many victims have had to forgo financial security during divorce proceedings to avoid further abuse. As a result they are impoverished as they grow older. (Kurz, 1989).

Victims are not the only ones who pay the price. Women who were victims of intimate partner violence costs health plans approximately 92% more than a random sample of general female enrollees. Findings of significantly higher mental health service use are supported by other studies. (Wisner, 1999).


Impacts on Children
One-third of the children who witness the battering of their mother demonstrate significant behavioral and/or emotional problems, including psychosomatic disorders, stuttering, anxiety and fears, sleep disruption, excessive crying and school problems. (Jaffe et al, 1990; Hilberman & Munson, 1977-78)

Those boys who witness abuse of their mother by their father are more likely to inflict severe violence as adults. Data suggest that girls who witness maternal abuse may tolerate abuse as adults more than girls who do not. (Hotaling & sugarman, 1986)

These negative effects may be diminished if the child benefits from intervention by the law and domestic violence programs. (Giles-Sims,1985)

The long-term effects of child sexual abuse include depression and self-destructive behavior, anger and hostility, poor self-esteem, feelings of isolation and stigma, difficulty in trusting others (especially men), and martial and relationship problems, and a tendency toward revictimization. (Finkelhor & Brown, 1988)

Other effects identified include runaway behavior, hysterical seizures, compulsive rituals, drug and school problems. (Conte, 1988 & 1990)




How are the effects of domestic violence treated?
Psychological treatment for victims and perpetrators can be helpful in the aftermath of domestic violence. For battered women, Hattendorf and Tollerud (1997) recommend a therapy approach in which traditional gender roles are challenged and empowerment of the victim is a primary focus. Individual therapy for victims of domestic violence should begin with a primary focus on safety, particularly if the victim is currently in an abusive relationship. The therapist should assess the current level of dangerousness and lethality in the relationship based on the following factors concerning the batterer: threats of homicide or suicide, possession of weapons, acute depression, alcohol/drug use, history of pet abuse, and level of rage (Harway & Hansen, 1994). The presence of these factors increases the level of potential lethality in the batterer.

In addition to assessing lethality, therapists and victim advocates should develop a safety plan with the victim. A safety plan may contain a strategy for how to leave a dangerous situation; the preparation of a safety kit - clothing, medications, keys, money, copies of important documents - to be kept either near an exit route or with a trusted friend; and arrangements for shelter unknown to the batterer. (Harway & Hansen, 1994).

Once lethality and safety have been addressed, the longer-term goals of treatment for victims can be addressed. These goals include helping the victim identify the impact of abuse to their life and helping them to work toward empowerment (Hattendorf & Tollerud, 1997). Victims can be empowered by regaining their independence and reconnecting with supports and resources that may have been cut off due to the isolation of domestic violence. In addition, the children may need their own treatment to address their responses to witnessing or experiencing abuse.

For some victims, additional treatment may be needed to target symptoms of depression, PTSD, substance abuse, or other disorders found to occur in the presence of domestic violence.

Batterers can also benefit from treatment, although it remains unclear exactly how effective treatment is in breaking the cycle of their violence. Batterers benefit most from batterer treatment programs, which in part focus on identifying what domestic violence is. These programs also focus on helping batterers develop a sense of personal responsibility for their actions and for stopping the violence (Harway & Hansen, 1994). Batterers can also be treated in individual therapy, but the focus of treatment must be on the violence. While some batterers and victims may seek to engage in couples therapy to address the abuse in their relationship, such therapy is NOT recommended while violence is occurring in the relationship. In addition, it is recommended that each member of the couple complete their individual treatment first, before beginning any joint therapy (Harway & Hansen, 1994). Sent by av.
Journal Entry:   "Effects of Domestic Violence Health Cons..." [Read]
  

Domestic Violence: An Overview

> Effects of Domestic Violence
Long-term effects of domestic violence on women who have been abused may include:


anxiety
chronic depression
chronic pain
death
dehydration
dissociative states
drug and alcohol dependence
eating disorders
emotional "over-reactions" to stimuli
general emotional numbing
health problems
malnutrition
panic attacks
poor adherence to medical recommendations
poverty
repeated self-injury
self neglect
sexual dysfunction
sleep disorders
somatization disorders
strained family relationships
suicide attempts
an inability to adequately respond to the needs of their children.
In a 1999 study from Johns Hopkins, it was reported that abused women are at higher risk of miscarriages, stillbirths, and infant deaths, and are more likely to give birth to low birth weight children, a risk factor for neonatal and infant deaths.  In addition, children of abused women were more likely to be malnourished and were more likely to have had a recent untreated case of diarrhea and less likely to have been immunized against childhood diseases. 10


Most battered women take active steps to protect their children, even if they do not leave their batterer. 4


Domestic violence can severely impair a parent's ability to nurture the development of their children.  Mothers who are abused may be depressed or preoccupied with the violence.  They may be emotionally withdrawn or numb, irritable or have feelings of hopelessness.  The result can be a parent who is less emotionally available to their children or unable to care for their children's basic needs.  Battering fathers are less affectionate, less available, and less rational in dealing with their children.  Studies even suggest that "battered women may use more punitive child-rearing strategies or exhibit aggression toward their children." 4

When children cannot depend on their parents or caregivers - for emotional support and for practical support - their development can be seriously delayed or, in severe cases, permanently distorted.  Children without an emotionally available parent may withdraw from relationships and social activities.  Since childhood is the time when social skills and attitudes are learned, domestic violence can affect their ability to form relationships for the rest of their lives.

Parents who have been traumatized by violence must cope with their own trauma before they are able to help their children.



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avisg
Female, 36 years
city of avis - SC
Member since Apr 2007
Mood: avisg is going to sleep ,talk to you all in the am .
Journal Entry:   "Effects of Domestic Violence Health Cons..." [Read]
  



May 19, 2008 07:12PM
Effects of Domestic Violence
Long-term effects of domestic violence on women who have been abused may include:


anxiety
chronic depression
chronic pain
death
dehydration
dissociative states
drug and alcohol dependence
eating disorders
emotional "over-reactions" to stimuli
general emotional numbing
health problems
malnutrition
panic attacks
poor adherence to medical recommendations
poverty
repeated self-injury
self neglect
sexual dysfunction
sleep disorders
somatization disorders
strained family relationships
suicide attempts
an inability to adequately respond to the needs of their children.
In a 1999 study from Johns Hopkins, it was reported that abused women are at higher risk of miscarriages, stillbirths, and infant deaths, and are more likely to give birth to low birth weight children, a risk factor for neonatal and infant deaths.  In addition, children of abused women were more likely to be malnourished and were more likely to have had a recent untreated case of diarrhea and less likely to have been immunized against childhood diseases. 10


Most battered women take active steps to protect their children, even if they do not leave their batterer. 4


Domestic violence can severely impair a parent's ability to nurture the development of their children.  Mothers who are abused may be depressed or preoccupied with the violence.  They may be emotionally withdrawn or numb, irritable or have feelings of hopelessness.  The result can be a parent who is less emotionally available to their children or unable to care for their children's basic needs.  Battering fathers are less affectionate, less available, and less rational in dealing with their children.  Studies even suggest that "battered women may use more punitive child-rearing strategies or exhibit aggression toward their children." 4

When children cannot depend on their parents or caregivers - for emotional support and for practical support - their development can be seriously delayed or, in severe cases, permanently distorted.  Children without an emotionally available parent may withdraw from relationships and social activities.  Since childhood is the time when social skills and attitudes are learned, domestic violence can affect their ability to form relationships for the rest of their lives.

Parents who have been traumatized by violence must cope with their own trauma before they are able to help their children

Avatar universal
by agape_040480, Mar 10, 2009
thank you for this. i've been dealing with almost all of these symptoms for quite some time and have been trying to figure out what was "wrong" with me. i thought i was alone. now i know i'm not and someone can help me. thank you.

Avatar universal
by Wiscmom69, Oct 21, 2009
Thank you, I am going to put my child in a program for children who ahve witnessed abuse . I n our home it was emotional, verbal and physical.

Avatar universal
by Wiscmom69, Oct 21, 2009
Do you have any information about DV and abusers with a brain injury?

199177 tn?1490502134
by avisg, Oct 21, 2009
As is in the person that is commiting DV has a brain injury and that is causing him to abuse

Avatar universal
by scaredlonelady, Oct 24, 2010
I was a victim of DV and I got into drinking and was raped because I the cops told me I had to leave to get away from boyfriend the abuser I had no place to go so I met a guy online he ended up raping me when he was drunk and ends up he is HIV positive. If I was never abused by my boyfriend then I would have been safe inside my apartment yet I got chased out with no place to go now I am waiting testing for HIV please pray for me.

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