It is now generally recognised that experiencing domestic violence and abuse is associated with mental health problems including anxiety and depression. These issues can make the abusive situation even worse, as the partner or ex-partner may make use a mental health diagnosis (for example, telling someone that they’re ‘mad’). It can also be difficult for health professionals to see beyond the mental health issues and to recognise that an abusive relationship may be at the heart of the problems. It is, therefore, important that professionals recognise the wider impacts for those living in an abusive relationship, and are able to offer the appropriate support.
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The first long-term Australian study to investigate the health impacts of intimate partner violence has found women who are abused by their partner suffer significant physical and mental health problems that persist throughout their lifetime. The research, led by the University of Newcastle’s research centre for generational health and ageing, followed 16,761 participants from the Women’s Health Australia study for 16 years from 1996.
“Unfortunately, the reality for one in four Australian women is that the physical and mental health impacts of domestic violence could last a lifetime,” she said.
Despite the narrow definition of family violence used by researchers, “The results are striking,” they write in their findings, published in the journal, PLoS ONE, on Tuesday. Across health measures including physical functioning, social functioning, general health, bodily pain, vitality, and emotional and mental health, women who had experienced intimate partner violence “recorded significantly poorer health than women who never experienced intimate partner violence, across generations and along the life course”. While previous research identified similar health problems in family violence survivors, this study showed that the issues persisted for years.
Free Yourself Global
Our unique global violence campaign, Free Yourself Global, explores the enculturation of violence through families over generations, and how does one, whether the abuser or the abused, interrupt the pattern of violence? This for-profit campaign will contribute over half the proceeds directly to our affiliate organizations combating this pandemic and supporting victims and recovering abusers. We also aim to connect these groups to share resources, tools, ideas, and collaborate. Currently organizations from over 68 countries around the world have officiated their support of Free Yourself.
More importantly, this initiative hopes to bring together all of the voices of the participants of domestic violence, including recovering abusers, victims, children, educators, support agencies and health professionals, law enforcement agencies, politicians, celebrities and social entrepreneurs who work to aid in this cause.
Share your story with us today via Facebook message or anonymously through our website www.freeyourselfglobal.com. For more information on how to become involved in this breakthrough campaign, email firstname.lastname@example.org