Saturday, July 20, 2019

Long-term impact of violence on women’s health and public health

The experiences women shared in the survey make it clear that violence against women is a public health issue with significant direct and long-term consequences that may translate into economic costs for the health sector. Well-trained healthcare professionals can play a significant role in identifying and helping prevent cases of violence against women.
 Fifty-five per cent of victims of the most serious incidents of intimate partner and nonpartner physical and/or sexual violence have experienced one or more physical consequences as a result of the incident. This translates into approximately 3.25 million women in the area covered by the survey who were left with an injury or physical consequence of the violence they experienced, considering only the most severe cases they identified during their adult lifetime. More specifically:

– 2.5 million had bruises or scratches

– 700,000 suffered wounds, sprains or burns

– 652,000 experienced concussion or another brain injury

– 352,000 had fractures or broken teeth

– 147,000 experienced internal injuries

– 82,000 experienced a miscarriage

– 70,000 contracted an infection or sexually transmitted disease

– 53,000 became pregnant

– 29,000 were left infertile or unable to carry a pregnancy to term

The psychological impact of violence can be severe and long-lasting. The majority of survivors of physical and/or sexual violence develop longer-term psychological symptoms. Anxiety was mentioned most often (39%) among the women surveyed, followed by feelings of vulnerability (32%). About three in ten women say they have experienced difficulties in their relationships (29%) or depression (28%) as a result of their experience.

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