Did You Know There Is A Link Between Domestic Violence And Chronic Illness?

Domestic Violence is not a topic to ignore as it is an ever growing problem. A problem that is being focused on this month as the month of October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I would imagine, based on statistics, that each of you reading has been impacted by domestic violence in some way, if not you directly, than someone you know has. I say this because the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence says that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. No certain kind of person is too good for domestic violence as it doesn’t follow any social economic lines. It can happen to any one from any race, color, class or educational background.

Let’s look at some statistics!

  • According to the Huff Post Women are more likely to be victims to violence from a intimate partner with 85% of all domestic assault cases being women and only 15% being men.
  • According to Huff Post Women with disabilities are FORTY PERCENT more likely to experience intimate partner violence — especially severe violence — than women without disabilities.
  • The Hotline reports that nearly half of all women and men in the US have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
  • According to Springtide Recourse 35% of all women who are or have been in married or common-law relationships have experienced emotional abuse. In comparison, 29% of women have been physically assaulted by their male partners.

Some feel that emotional abuse is not that big of a problem but it has been found that emotional abuse is actually the largest risk factor and can be the biggest predictor for physical violence

Having come from past relationships where there where I dealt with some abuse (no physical abuse). I can say that the above statement is true. Emotional abuse does lead to physical abuse. While I can say I was lucky and got out before the abuse got physical, but I could see it coming. There were signs pointing towards violence. And pointing to the fact that it likely wouldn’t be the wall that would punched next time, it would be me. Or that it likely wouldn’t be the glass that would broken next time, it would be me. When those things started happening I got out. I stayed longer than I should have, but I got out. That being said I do understand why ladies stay. You always want to believe the best, believe that it could never be true, believe that the lies aren’t true and believe that they can change. Sadly, chances are, it will be you and the lies are true, and you need to get out before it’s too late. I know this is going to sound crazy and I know that some of the people I’ve said this to over the years have thought just that. But there were times when I wished I would have just been hit. The physical wounds would heal and go away. But the awful things that were said to me stay with me so much longer.

As I am writing this post this morning the following makes me feel like I’m not alone in my thoughts and feelings. And made me realize I am not alone in how I’ve dealt with everything.

“Most women indicate that emotional abuse effects them as much, if not more than, physical violence. They report that emotional abuse is responsible for long-term problems with health, self-esteem, depression, and anxiety. In one study 72% of women reported that being ridiculed by their abusive partners had the greatest impact on them, followed by threats of abuse, jealousy, and restriction [or isolation]. It was also found that the impact increased with the frequency of the emotional abuse.”Springtide Resources

People always just say why don’t women JUST LEAVE?!?? And there are a lot of reasons. The biggest being safety. Many women dealing with physical abuse fear their that their abuser will find her (and her kids, if she has any) and hurt her, maybe worse than ever before or even kill her. Another reason is often lack of resources. In many cases they don’t have money of their own that’s not tied to their abuser. She also may have not told her family so they don’t understand or may not support her decision to leave, because they may feel like she is making it up or making it seem like it’s worse than it is. Sadly, in many cities outside of emergency, short-term shelters, there really aren’t many long term options available to women who have been abused. Due to the lack of accessible affordable house, low income, and affordable legal aid on average an emotionally abused women will leave her significant other FIVE times before leaving for good. Springtide Resources And for a women who has a chronic illness it may be even harder for her to leave due to her health.

As I noted at the beginning of this article women with disabilities are more likely to experience abuse. As I was doing my research I was shocked to find that there is a strong link between those who suffered domestic abuse and those who have some type of chronic illness. There was a survey done in 2013 By MORE Magazine and the Verizon Foundation of domestic violence survivors in the US. This particular study showed that that 80% of domestic violence victims experience chronic health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic pain, asthma, and insomnia. It also found that women who had a past with domestic violence are not only more likely to suffer from chronic illness, they are more likely to suffer from multiple chronic illnesses then women who have no history of abuse.

Domestic violence is a very personal and often very hard to talk about, or admit it happened to you. For some reason it almost feels like you are less. If a person because it did happen. But that isn’t the case. It doesn’t make you any less of a person. It happened to you Not because of you. Please if you are in an abusive relationship or know someone who is, reach out to someone and try to get out. If you don’t feel like you can reach out to a friend or family member you can always reach out to The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE. They also have a Live Chat feature that can be found at https://www.thehotline.org/contact/ that is always available. Or reach out to your local dr, pharmacist or anyone in your medical community as they are all mandated reporter. If you report abuse to them they are required to report it to the law. No matter who just reach out if you want out.

If you want more statistic or resources check the links below:

https://domesticviolencestatistics.org/domestic-violence-statistics/

https://ncadv.org/statistics

https://www.womenshealth.northwestern.edu/blog/beyond-bruises-campaign-domestic-violence-chronic-illness

https://www.domesticshelters.org/domestic-violence-articles-information/the-link-between-abuse-chronic-fatigue-and-fibromyalgia

With Love,

Amber

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