“I think part of what is so difficult, and has historically been so difficult, is for victims of domestic violence to communicate how afraid they are and how violent this person has been when no one’s watching....I think we have a tendency as a society as a whole to minimize this type of violence when we should be responding with a heightened level of concern...
Health & Wellness
Domestic abuse has a profound impact on the physical, mental and emotional health of those who experience it.
The affects can be far-reaching, lasting far longer than a single injury takes to heal. There is still a lot to learn about the health implications of domestic violence, but a growing body of research points to an array of health concerns for survivors of abuse, including:
- Risk of injury or death
- Frequent headaches, gastrointestinal issues, and chronic pain
- Exposure to sexually transmitted infections
- Increased risk of unplanned pregnancies
- Substance abuse
- Anxiety, depression, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
The health concerns are not limited only to adults experiencing abuse, but also to children who are exposed to violence, and to teens experiencing teen dating violence.
To learn more about the physical health implications of domestic violence, explore the "Other Resources" section of this page.
How do we facilitate healing?
Healing is an individualized process, and will look different for everyone. However, there are things we know can help.
Access to health care is important for victims of domestic violence, who can struggle not only with direct health impacts of the abuse, but also with the economic implications of lacking access to care for themselves and their children as they build lives free from abuse.
And healing goes beyond the physical, to encompass one’s whole person. Many survivors have indicated the importance of their faith or spirituality in their healing process. People who have experienced abuse need support to heal physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.