Experiencing violence has an impact on the medical condition of the victims. The adverse effects on health and strains are particularly severe if violence is used repeatedly or increases in force.
Physical violence may have substantial acute and long-term health, psychological, psychosomatic and also psychosocial effects on the people concerned. The consequences in terms of physical injuries include, amongst others:
- bruises and wounds;
- sprains and strains;
- head injuries and concussion
Physical violence can entail severe and life-threatening injuries, and can even result in death from injury, homicide, murder or suicide. Moreover, physical injuries can result in lasting impairments and chronifications, especially if the injuries are not treated promptly. The somatic negative consequences and pain symptoms of physical violence include:
- cardiovascular diseases;
- skin diseases;
- diseases of the digestive system;
Alongside the negative physical consequences, the psychological consequences are particularly serious. Experiencing violence can be traumatic and can result in a post-traumatic stress disorder. The psychological consequences of physical violence include sleep disturbance, increased anxiety, lowered self-esteem, dejection and depression, even reaching suicidal thoughts, self-harm and eating disorders. Profound stress syndromes occur frequently. Sometimes physical violence results in severe psychological diseases.
Experiencing violence also has an adverse effect on social structures, interpersonal relations, individual lifestyles and the socio-economic situation. The women involved often break off ties with others and contacts with relatives or friends. Given the enormous psychological strain, there is a risk of losing one’s job. Experiencing physical violence can restrict the victim’s ability to take action and defend herself.
The longer the victims experience violence, the more difficult it becomes to get help from outside and the more difficult external intervention becomes.