Violence and Assaults Affect on Mental Wellness

About 3 in 10 women in the United States experience physical violence and/or sexual assault.

Violence and assault can have significant effects on a woman, both mentally and physically.

How Violence and Assault Affects Women’s Mental Wellness

Many women experience mental health issues after violence or assault. To cope with what they’ve gone through, some women resort to misusing alcohol or drugs. Some women even get into risky behaviors such as unprotected sex. 

Violence on women can also have an impact on the way they perceive themselves. This usually leads to unhealthy eating patterns or habits.

Long-term mental health effects of violence and assault

When a woman is a victim of violence or assault, she may suffer from any of the following mental health problems:

  • PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder

You may easily get started, feel tense or at the edge, experience angry outbursts, and may encounter some sleep issues. 

  • Depression

More than just feeling sad, depression is a serious mental health problem. It can affect the way you function every day and even the way you relate to others. 

  • Anxiety

It can be general anxiety or intense fear of something. When left unmanaged, anxiety disorders can significantly interfere with your day-to-day life.

Other Effects of Violence and Assault on Women

Victims of violence or assault may sustain physical injuries that may be minor or serious. It can be bruises, cuts, or serious breaks on the bones and/or damage on the internal organs.

Women who have been sexually assaulted may have vaginal bleeding that may be accompanied by pelvic pain, difficulty in sleeping (which includes having nightmares), sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs), and unwanted pregnancy.

In some cases, one may suffer from long-term health issues, including:

  • Chronic pain
  • Asthma
  • Digestive problems
  • Heart problems
  • Nightmares
  • Migraine headaches
  • Pain during sex
  • Immune system problems

What To Do If You’re a Victim of Violence or Assault

Get help with your physical injuries. You may also call the cops so they can document your injuries, which you can use if you decide to file for charges for the person causing them.

Once you seek help for your physical injuries, it’s important to see a mental health professional. 

He/she can help you cope with your emotions in a healthy way. A therapist will also work with you to build your self-esteem and develop coping skills. 

There is also a hotline you can call for free. It’s the National Sexual Assault Hotline, which you can call at 800-656-HOPE (4673).

If you’re a victim of violence or assault, our providers at Women’s Healthcare of Norman will work with you to treat your physical injuries and direct you to other resources/providers you may need.

You can call us at (405) 360-1264.

 

References:

https://www.womenshealth.gov/relationships-and-safety/effects-violence-against-women

https://www.thehotline.org/resources/statistics/