Domestic violence

Effects of domestic violence

Domestic violence does not only have physical consequences for those concerned. In fact, it makes an impact on many spheres of life, including work and social relationships.

The German prevalence study (in English) (Schröttle/Müller) found that all forms of violence and harassment to a very large extent result in subsequent psychological consequences (sleep disturbance, increased anxiety, dejection and depression, suicidal tendencies, self-inflicted violence, eating disorders, addiction and dependency, posttraumatic stress disorder etc.).

Moreover, it became apparent that violence changes the life-concerns of women: Regarding each form of violence, i.e. physical, psychological and sexualised violence, women may be affected by long-term social and psychosocial consequences, such as breakup, divorce, change of residence and job loss. In the lives of many women, violence represents a break with former relationships and work relations, and results in therapy for each 3rd to 7th woman concerned.

Furthermore, a significantly higher health burden and an increased consumption of alcohol, medicines and drugs and, above all, a substantially higher consumption of tobacco have to be noted in the women concerned.

64% of those affected by violent assaults committed by their (ex)-partners suffered light to serious bodily injuries. Moreover, victims of physical violence quite often suffer physical harm, such as deformed bone fractures, brain damage due to blows to the head, damages of internal organs, scars and disfigurements in the face, missing teeth, curved or missing fingers and a reduced eyesight or hearing ability.

In addition, the death of women is quite often the cruel consequence of partner violence. Oberlies carried out a study with 174 men sentenced for homicide. One in two was charged with killing his wife or non-marital partner. The danger of getting killed is highest when the woman wants to break up with her partner or has already done so. Even if law enforcement authorities have already intervened, e.g. due to one or several criminal complaints or measures taken in accordance with the German Act on Protection against Violence, a homicide can occur. Science-based threat analyses are being undertaken, but are not yet used on a nationwide scale. The vulnerability of women is quite often underestimated in judicial practice.