The health effects of violence on a victim’s heath can range from mild to severe, with severe being more common. In addition to the immediate injuries from assault, some of the pains that can be suffered are chronic pain, gastrointestinal disorders, psychosomatic symptoms or eating disorders. All forms of domestic violence have the potential to have devastating physical and emotional health effects. For the purpose of this blog, the focus will be on women.
According to the Advocates for Human Rights (AHR), Women who are abused suffer from an increased risk of unplanned or early pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, which could include HIV/AIDS. Women are more vulnerable while pregnant, thus they may experience medial difficulties throughout their pregnancies. Women who experience intimate partner abuse are three times more likely to have gynecological problems than non-abused women. Aside from these, they are also at an increased risk of substance abuse.
The AHR also point out that there are significant obstetric risk factors associated with domestic violence. Abused women are more likely to have a history of sexually transmitted infections, vaginal and cervical infections, kidney infections and bleeding during pregnancy. The most common non-fatal injuries are to the head, neck, face, musculoskeletal and genital injuries.
Women can be intentionally murdered by their abusers and lose their life as a result of injuries inflicted by them. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 38 percent of all women murdered with the likes of domestic violence are killed by an intimate partner.
When it comes to strangulation, it rarely leaves vivid external physical marks and so police may not recognize the victim’s need for medical assistance right away. However, the injuries resulting from strangulation can be fatal and can kill the victim within 36 hours.
Women who are abused may be more likely to commit suicide. According to United Nations International Children’s Relief Fund (UNICEF), “suicide is 12 times as likely to have been attempted by a woman who has been abused than by one who has not.”
With a little help from volunteers, these abused women can get the help they need. The community needs to be more engaged with what is happening inside its borders.