Sunday, 17 November 2013
Int'l Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2013, November 25th.
A new report from the World Health Organisation has drawn together data from dozens of studies and found that worldwide, 35% of women have experienced violence - and that the consequences for their health can be devastating.
Health consequences ;
The report catalogues the disastrous consequences that violence has on women's physical, mental and sexual and reproductive health. Many of these are complex and not immediately evident, but their impact is often enormous. Non-fatal injuries are one of the most direct effects of violence.
The report uses the USA as an example where half of women in abusive relationships are physically injured by their partners and that most of them sustain multiple types of injuries - the head, neck and face being the most common, followed by muscular, skeletal and genital injuries.
Several studies identified that women with a history of intimate partner violence are 16% more likely to have a low-birth-weight baby and twice as likely to report having had an induced abortion - nearly half of which globally take place in unsafe conditions.
What's more, when compared with women who have not experienced partner violence, those that have are 1.5 times more likely to acquire HIV. Every study that looked at the relationship between intimate partner violence and harmful alcohol use found a positive correlation between the two - although substance abuse may also be linked mental health disorders which also increase a woman's vulnerability to violence. Depression and suicide was also consistently cited as a severe health consequence of violence against women. Traumatic stress is the mechanism most likely to explain the fact that depression rates are double for women who have experienced violence.