Medicine Information

Health Needs of Survivors of Domestic Violence


Domestic violence is not over when the victim is safe and out of harm's way. It's not over until justice has been served. Even then, it's not over. It's not over until the victim is safe, justice has been served, and the victim is well.

Consider these facts:

  • Abuse, especially repetitive abuse, leaves a lasting "impression" on the health, well-being, and post-abuse functioning of the victim. This impact lingers long after the bruises fade, the bones mend, and the abuse is over.
  • Victims of violence seek healthcare more often than non-victims. The severity of victimization is a powerful predictor of the healthcare costs generated by these victims.
  • Most healthcare visits by victims of domestic violence are not domestic violence patients presenting with injuries, but rather medical problems that seemingly are not related to current or past injuries.

The health effects of violence can reach across the life span. Studies have now shown that adults who were abused in childhood vs. those who were not have more:

  • Infectious diseases
  • Mental health disorders
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Dermatitis
  • Asthma
  • Allergy
  • Acne
  • Abnormal menstrual bleeding
  • More heath-threatening behaviors such as smoking, the use of alcohol, driving while intoxicated, avoiding regular gynecological examinations, not wearing seat belts, sedentary lifestyle, and high-risk sexual encounters.
The abuse sustained in an intimate partner relationship does not have to be physical to cause poor health. Intimate partner violence and abuse (IPVA) can take several forms: physical abuse, verbal abuse, and forced sex. When Dr. Ann Coker and her colleagues looked at domestic violence in a large series of patients, they found that approximately 14% of domestic violence victims have only been victimized psychologically, not physically. These victims had higher rates of numerous medical problems that the non-abused do not have. Among them:
  • Disability that prevented working
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic pain
  • Migraine and other frequent headaches
  • Stammering
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Frequent indigestion, diarrhea, or constipation.
These findings pose an interesting question: Do victims of psychological abuse have fewer or more health problems than victims of physical violence? Dr. Coker and her colleagues found that "psychological IPV was as strongly associated with the majority of adverse health outcomes as was physical IPV." The old childhood taunt of "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me," is wrong, wrong, wrong. And now we have research to support the idea that it's wrong.

Survivors of domestic violence or IPVA will tell you that life after abuse is never the same. Some experience insomnia, multiple aches and pains, problems with concentration, intrusive thoughts, fatigue, and irritability. Any one of these can interfere with effective functioning and set the stage for depression and even despair.

Violence and abuse of all forms is complex and the resulting health effects are interwoven. No single approach cures all. Medical help for domestic violence victims and survivors exists but is scattered. Appropriate care is often difficult to find and access, but it can be done. Healthcare providers and survivors must learn to work together to secure the best state of health possible for survivors of domestic violence.

My recent book on using expressive writing to help resolve lingering health issues offers one way to give aid to survivors and their supporters. You can read a summary about the book at website http://healthaftertrauma/

ฉ Copyright Ellen Taliaferro, MD 2005. All rights reserved. . You have permission to publish part or all of this article electronically or in print, in your newsletter, on your website, or in your e-book, as long you maintain the hyperlinks in the article and include the following information: "Written by Ellen Taliaferro, MD, author, speaker, and expert witness. Dr T. can be contacted through http://www.healthaftertrauma.com. A copy of your reprint or publication would be appreciated.


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


New York Post

Venezuelans with transplants live in fear as medicine runs out
New York Post
After years leading normal lives, they now live in fear as Venezuela's economic collapse under President Nicolas Maduro has left the once-prosperous OPEC nation unable to purchase sufficient foreign medicine or produce enough of its own. Some 31 ...
PETRO's backing (from Whitepaper) - El PetroEl Petro
Venezuela: 82.4M Units of Petro Cryptocurrency AvailableteleSUR English

all 177 news articles »


#MeToo in medicine: Women, harassed in hospitals and operating ...
NBCNews.com
In a months-long investigation, NBC News spoke with nearly a dozen women and experts who described widespread misconduct in hospitals and health care.

and more »


OncLive

Gastrointestinal Cancers Entering Age of Precision Medicine
OncLive
He: We had 4 excellent faculty who talked about the updates to pancreatic and hepatobiliary cancer treatment, treatment of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) of the GI tract, and precision medicine. Molecular profiling has been identified as a very important ...



The Courier-Journal

University of Louisville takes its medicine and starts healing process | Tim Sullivan
The Courier-Journal
There's never a wrong time to do the right thing. There's rarely a point where a public institution is better served by technicalities than truth. The University of Louisville has paid a high price for coming clean with its dirty laundry, with self ...

and more »


MyNorthwest.com

Ayurveda: a 5000 year old tradition of eating where food is medicine
MyNorthwest.com
Singer songwriter Nicki Bluhm is the latest guest on my podcast, Your Last Meal. For her last meal she wants a classic steakhouse dinner, complete with scalloped potatoes and creamed spinach. But in her daily life, she follows an Ayurvedic diet; a 5 ...



ื’ืœื•ื‘ืก

Globes English - Vaica reminds patients to take medicine - ื’ืœื•ื‘ืก
ื’ืœื•ื‘ืก
The Israeli company adapts its reminders to the patient's age and the type of medicine.

and more »


VentureBeat

4 ways AI could help shape the future of medicine
VentureBeat
At times, progress occurs so quickly that it's difficult to separate science fiction from real life. Just five decades ago, computers were massive, unwieldy machines running on punch cards and primitive circuits. Today, a single smartphone has more ...



PR Newswire (press release)

Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute to Host 2018 Thought Leaders Consortium in Tucson
PR Newswire (press release)
SEATTLE, Feb. 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute (PLMI) will host the Sixth Annual Thought Leaders Consortium Oct. 12-13, 2018 at the Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa in Tucson, Arizona. The title of the 2018 ...

and more »


Equities Focus

Loxo Oncology Will Fulfill The Promise Of Precision Medicine
Seeking Alpha
Based in Stamford, Connecticut, Loxo Oncology is dedicated to developing precision medicines against genetically defined cancers. Its highly selective drugs in the pipeline will shift the paradigm of cancer treatment from the traditional "one-size-fits ...
Financial Newsletter - ZacksZacks
Loxo Oncology, Inc. - LOXO - Stock Price Today - ZacksZacks

all 39 news articles »


Huntington Herald Dispatch

UCD School of Medicine scores high in NIH research funding
Davis Enterprise
For the first time, UC Davis School of Medicine has ranked in the top 20 percent of institutions in the country for research funding from the National Institutes of Health. โ€œThe proportion of NIH funding is an important measure of research excellence ...
National Institutes of Health guests visit School of MedicineHNN Huntingtonnews.net

all 3 news articles »

Google News

home | site map | Dr. Thad Thomas
© 2006