Long-Term Effects of Domestic Violence

· March 20, 2018
Domestic violence is a scourge that can persist for a long time after it has actually happened. So, it’s important to take all possible steps to help people who have been affected by it to overcome it.

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?

Low self-esteem

injured woman from 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 a longer period of time. 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 realize their own value.

Hostility and negative attitudes

Another consequence of domestic violence can be seen in a tendency to distrust situations and people. Little by little they develop an attitude where everything in society is bad.

And, women that have experienced this type of violence, feel that they have to keep their defenses up and worry about everything. They can turn into cold and irritable characters as a result.

In some cases, victims of domestic violence can display violent behavior themselves.

Above all, hostility, according to medical and scientific studies, can cause a tendency for the coronary arteries to narrow, which can increase the risk of suffering from heart problems.

Another consequence related to these victims is that they can isolate themselves socially. This can lead to serious problems with future partners.

Depression

woman experiencing depression

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 aging
  • 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.

Discover: Fighting Depression with Yoga

Sexual terror

screaming woman in fear from domestic violence

Domestic violence, specifically sexual violence, can bring with it:

  • A confused understanding of correct barriers and limits
  • Stigmatization
  • Shame
  • Betrayal
  • Isolation
  • Repetition

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 a 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. This could lead to depression or suicidal tendencies.

Permanent physical disability

This disability should be viewed with an attitude based on physical diagnosis and less based on medical diagnosis.

Additionally, it affects women more who have suffered direct physical abuse, such as hitting, fractures, cigarettes burns, amongst others.

Other consequences of gender violence are:

  • Sexually transmitted diseases (like HIV)
  • Colitis
  • Pelvic pain
  • Headaches
  • Problems walking and performing everyday tasks
  • Gynecological problems
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Irritable bowel syndrome

Want to learn more? See: Fibromyalgia Treatment Tips to Know

Domestic violence needs to stop

Sadly, domestic violence against women is still prevalent in many countries. Finally, 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 believing that the victim is to blame and that as soon as they get out everything will be fine.

Trussler, M. (2009). Domestic violence. American Journal of Nursing. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.NAJ.0000360291.38302.21