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December 4 - Day 10: Health Consequences of Violence

Dear <<First Name>>

Did you know:  

The Health consequences of violence (according to the WHO)

Intimate partner (physical, sexual and emotional) and sexual violence cause serious short- and long-term physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health problems for women. They also affect their children, and lead to high social and economic costs for women, their families and societies. Such violence can:

  • Have fatal outcomes like homicide or suicide.
  • Lead to injuries, with 42% of women who experience intimate partner violence reporting an injury as a consequence of this violence.
  • Lead to unintended pregnancies, induced abortions, gynaecological problems, and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. The 2013 analysis found that women who had been physically or sexually abused were 1.5 times more likely to have a sexually transmitted infection and, in some regions, HIV, compared to women who had not experienced partner violence.
  • Evidence shows that HIV can also be a risk factor for violence since disclosure can put women at risk of violence by their partners, family or community members. Drug use is another common dimension of both phenomena and can also serve as risk factor or outcome of experiencing violence or HIV infection. Additionally, vulnerable populations, particularly sex workers, may face increased risks, and require special attention.
  • The same 2013 study showed that women who experienced intimate partner violence were 16% more likely to suffer a miscarriage and 41% more likely to have a pre-term birth.
  • These forms of violence can lead to depression, post-traumatic stress and other anxiety disorders, sleep difficulties, eating disorders, and suicide attempts. The 2013 analysis found that women who have experienced intimate partner violence were almost twice as likely to experience depression and problem drinking.
  • Health effects can also include headaches, back pain, abdominal pain, gastrointestinal disorders, limited mobility and poor overall health

Information compiled by Ellen Blahitka, Zonta Club of Brampton-Caledon

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