Global Mental Health Community Network
Domestic and Sexual Violence
Domestic violence is occurring in all countries and in most cases, it is perpetrated by men against their female partners. This violence is a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors, including sexual, physical, and psychological attacks as well as economic coercion, that abusers use against their partners. Violence against women is a major strategy used to maintain power, especially in hierarchal societies. It is the most pervasive yet least recognized human rights violation in the world, as well as an extreme health problem. Domestic violence is hard to measure, however, a study showed that in almost fifty population-based surveys on a global scale, 10% - 50% of women report being physically abused by an intimate male partner. Additionally, a report published by the World Health Organization in 2005 stated that approximately one in three women has been hit/beaten, forced into sex, or otherwise abused in her life. The report also found that women who are abused by their partners are likely to experience a variety of health issues.
On top of inuries, women who are abused are more likely to have pain, dizziness, and mental health issues. These mental health conditions include post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts. Not only is domestic violence a risk factor for mental health problems, but women who have pre-existing psychological disorders are more likely to be targets of abusers.