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Domestic violence and mental health

Domestic violence can cause a person to suffer major physical injuries. However, the harm a domestic violence sufferer can face is not limited to just the physical level. For example, as a recent study underscores, being subjected to domestic violence can have negative impacts on a person's mental and emotional state.

Over a 10-year period, the study looked at the mental health of over 1,000 mothers with no previous depression history. Some of the mothers (over one-third) reported having been subjected to domestic violence by their spouse. The study found that, over the 10-year study period, the mothers who reported being subjected to spousal violence:

  • Were three times more likely than the other mothers to develop psychotic symptoms.
  • Had twice as big of a risk of developing depression as the other mothers.

Thus, the study indicates that women who have been the victim of domestic violence may be more susceptible to developing certain mental health conditions. Mental health conditions can have some pretty significant effects on a person's life.

The fact that domestic violence can impact a victim on many different levels underscores some important points.

One point is how vital it is for society to take proper steps to try to prevent domestic abuse.

Another point is how important protection from further abuse can be to domestic violence victims. Attorneys can help domestic abuse victims pursue the legal protections that Texas law makes available to them. One example of a legal protection a Texas domestic abuse victim may be able to receive is a restraining order against their abuser.

Source: Medical Xpress, "Impact of domestic violence on women's mental health," March 31, 2015

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