Intimate Partner Violence: Long-Term Health Consequences.
A woman presents to the emergency department with facial bruises and severe abdominal pain. She is asked how her injuries occurred, and she responds by saying she fell down a flight of stairs. Her male partner stands at the door with a stern look on his face as she responds. Violence is a common health problem of tremendous magnitude.
Intimate partner violence is a crime and a lot more common than one would imagine. Nearly one in every three women and one in every seven men experience violence at the hands of their domestic partners according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Violence within families is a pervasive problem, although it was not considered as such until recently. It affects millions of women, men, and children, even though the exact count of the numbers of victims is not known. Even if we do not know the exact numbers; look around you, you will see it!
By definition, “intimate partner violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.”
It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. Intimate partner violence is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, educational background, gender, race, religion, or nationality.
It can result in physical injury, psychologic trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder and frequent deaths. The long-term health consequences can cross generations and last a lifetime.
Women Health Open J. 2017; SE(1): Se1-Se3. doi: 10.17140/WHOJ-SE1-e001