Violence against women is a socio-cultural phenomenon that is present in many diverse communities. In practically all primitive societies the role of women is submissive, inferior to men, with no rights. And, domestic violence is one of the major consequences.
Today, in the 21st Century, there are still social barriers that have been difficult for women to overcome in the workplace, and they’re mainly caused by patriarchal attitudes in the family home.
In these spheres it’s possible to see situations in which women are forbidden from working and suffer physical and emotional abuse that will stay with her for a long time, perhaps her entire life.
What are the long-term effects of domestic violence?
Contrary to what many people think, domestic violence is not just physical. It can also include:
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Financial abuse
Basically, anyone who commits an act of violence has the need to maintain control over their victims.
Also, lowering their self-esteem causes the victim to stay in the relationship for longer. When trying to get out of a relationship, women can continue to fight the experience for many years and few will get over it.
However, friends and family must remember that they have the ability to leave the situation and seek a normal life. It doesn’t matter how vulnerable they seem; the victim deserves to be treated with respect so that they can realise their own value.
Hostility and negative attitudes
This is another consequence of domestic violence and can be seen in a tendency to distrust situations and people.
Little by little they develop an attitude whereby everything in society is bad.
And, women that have experienced this type of violence feel that they have to keep their defences up and worry about everything. They can turn into a cold and irritable character as a result.
In some cases, victims of domestic violence can display violent behaviour themselves.
Another consequence related to these victims is that they can isolate themselves socially and develop serious problems with future partners.
This is one of the most important things that can stay with a woman after suffering domestic violence.
This condition is associated with:
- Chronic aches and pains
- Heart attacks
- Premature ageing
- Problems with healing wounds
- Weakened immune system
- Alzheimer’s disease
Basically, the problem is that the majority of the symptoms of depression are ignored by the people around them.
They tend to think that what happened in the past shouldn’t affect them so much. And, they attribute it to something more mundane like everyday stress.
Domestic violence, specifically sexual violence, can bring with it:
- A confused understanding of correct barriers and limits
Women who have a distorted concept of reality and consider themselves dirty, ugly, or worthless, tend to neglect themselves.
And, it’s common that the woman sees both herself and her body with shame.
Since it prevents her personal growth, the compulsion to repeat or revisit traumatic experiences can occur frequently in subtle ways.
In the long term, they may associate sex with domestic and sexual violence in general.
So, one possible option for help would be psychological treatment which could be a way to overcome the experience.
Basically, these particular effects can carry with them consequences in everyday relationships as well.
When the symptoms frequently return, they tend to become pathological. These could be depression or suicidal tendencies.
Permanent physical disability
This disability should be viewed with an attitude less based on medical diagnosis but based on physical diagnosis.
Additionally, it affects women more who have suffered direct physical abuse, such as hitting, fractures, cigarettes and burns, amongst others.
Other consequences of gender violence are:
- Sexually transmitted diseases (like HIV)
- Pelvic pain
- Problems walking and performing everyday tasks.
- Gynaecological problems
- Irritable bowel syndrome
Domestic violence needs to stop
Sadly, domestic violence against women is still prevalent in many countries. Understanding its impact can help with prevention and treatment of the consequences.
And, if you live in this situation or know someone who does, it’s important that you seek help. Also, the greatest mistake we can make is believe that the victim is to blame and that as soon as they get out everything will be fine.