Over time, violence wreaks havoc on a person’s physical and psychological health. As the consequences are many and varied, it is often difficult to see the manifestations of the victim’s suffering as being directly related to the violence he or she is experiencing. A victim of violence has normal reactions to an abnormal situation.
For more information see SOS violence conjugale
In addition to physical injuries resulting from aggression, violence also has indirect effects on the physical health of victims. Somatization due to constant exposure to stress, chronic pain syndrome, gastrointestinal disorders, victims experience decreased physical function and a more degraded general state of health which can lead to disability or death.
The same is true for psychological health . Violence greatly affects victims’ mental health, and it is sometimes difficult for healthcare professionals to relate the symptoms to the real situation they are experiencing. Feelings of shame, guilt, and low self-esteem can lead to different states:
- Anxiety disorders
- Eating disorders
- Psychosomatic disorders
- Sleeping disorders
- Substance abuse
- Suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts
- Post traumatic stress disorder
Different research has also shown that violence affects the sex life and pregnancy of female victims, which puts both mother and fetus at risk. It can also lead to the following consequences:
- Risky sexual behavior
- Sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STIs)
- Complications during pregnancy
- Unplanned pregnancy or forced abortion
- Miscarriage, premature labor
- Postnatal depression
- Sexual dysfunctions
- Gynecological disorders
Children exposed to violence
Children who are victims of or exposed to violence all experience the consequences to varying degrees. Usually they experience fear, anxiety and feelings of helplessness.