The effects of domestic violence on victims are far-reaching and can emerge in many different ways. Awareness of these effects will not only help you better understand a woman’s experience, but will help you better identify women who are being abused.
Possible indicators of domestic violence
Visible physical injury including:
- bruises, lacerations, burns, human bite marks, and fractures-especially of the eyes, nose, teeth and jaw;
- injuries during pregnancy, miscarriage, or premature births;
- unexplained delay in seeking treatment for injuries; and
- multiple injuries in different stages of healing.
Illnesses that abused women may develop include:
- stress-related illnesses such as headaches, backaches, chronic pain, gastrointestinal disorders, sleep disorders, eating disorders, and fatigue;
- anxiety-related conditions such as heart palpitations, hyperventilation, and “panic attacks”; and less commonly,
- depression, suicidal thoughts or attempts, and alcohol or other drug problems.
“Presenting problems” are often related to or a result of domestic violence and include:
- marital or “family” problems;
- alcohol or other drug addiction; and
- “mental health” problems.
In the workplace, the effects of domestic violence can emerge as:
- lost productivity, chronic absenteeism or lateness, or requests for excessive amounts of time off;
- on-the-job harassment by abuser, either in person or over the phone; and
- poor employment history, or loss of employment.