Effects of Domestic Violence

The term ‘domestic violence’ covers a number of abuses and behaviors. It can refer to physical violence that takes place in the context of a family or couples relationship, or it can refer to emotional, psychological or even financial abuse. It also covers the abuse of children and disabled or elderly family members.

Whatever form domestic violence takes, its effects can be wide ranging and long lasting. They can also be extremely serious, leading, in the worst cases, to death either as a result of actual murder of the victim or through suicide.

Known effects of domestic violence include:

Physical Effects:

  • Bruises
  • Cuts
  • Burns
  • Scalds
  • Broken bones
  • Headaches
  • Skin disorders caused by stress or anxiety
  • Shaking or trembling uncontrollably
  • Sight impairment
  • Hearing impairment
  • Facial disfigurement
  • Paralysis and partial paralysis
  • Back pain
  • Pelvic pain
  • Gynecological injuries
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Miscarriage
  • Heart disorders
  • Circulatory disorders
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Death

Psychological Effects:

  • Post traumatic stress disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of self esteem
  • Loss of hope in the future
  • Loss of trust in others
  • Disruption of sleep patterns
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Flashbacks
  • Panic attacks
  • Agrophobia
  • Anorexia or other eating disorders
  • Inability to establish intimate relationships
  • Fear of sexual relationships
  • Suicidal thoughts

Social Effects:

  • Loss of education
  • Loss of job
  • Poor career progression
  • Loss of social life
  • Broken relationships with family and former friends
  • Financial hardship

Effects of domestic violence on children

The effects of domestic violence on children can be very significant and damaging. This is the case whether the child has been the actual first hand victim of the violence  or has witnessed violence in the home. This is partly because a child who witnesses violence in the family often feels not only shock and fear, but also guilt that he has not been able to protect the victim (often his mother).

  • Loss of education through non attendance
  • Fall in standards of school work
  • Loss of social activities
  • Fear and anxiety
  • Emotional problems
  • Behavioral problems at school
  • Behavioral problems at home
  • Inability to establish healthy relationships with peers
  • A child who has been involved in an abusive incident may become a bully
  • Bed wetting and regression to childhood behaviors
  • Speech problems such as stammering
  • Elective mutism
  • Becoming a runaway
  • Eating disorders
  • Inability to relate to other family members
  • Inability to relate to adults outside the family
  • Physical problems such as stomach upsets and headaches
  • Sleep disorders

Long term problems carried over to adulthood, including:

  • Tendency to criminal activities
  • Tendency to become violent towards a partner
  • Tendency to violence to others
  • Tendency to become a victim of an abusive relationship
  • Inability to maintain a healthy intimate relationship

Domestic Violence is a serious issue

Domestic violence is never an issue that should be taken lightly. It’s effects can be, at worst, even fatal. Suicide is common among those abused. Some victims, who have shown no  violent tendencies prior to the abuse may go on to commit murder as a direct result of abuse or witnessing domestic violence.

63% of boys between the ages of 11 and 20 who commit murder kill the man who was abusing their mother. Battered women may also kill the violent partner. The facts and  figures are shocking, and prove beyond doubt that domestic violence perpetuates domestic violence.