Domestic Violence - Domestic Violence and Your Health
Domestic violence is the most common cause of
injury to women ages 18 to 44 in the United States. After abuse starts, it usually continues. And it's likely to get worse over time. Abuse that starts with a slap
may build up over time to kicking and shoving and finally choking.
The repeated injury and stress of living in a violent
relationship can cause long-lasting health problems, such as:
have a higher risk of major health problems. Women who are abused are also more likely to smoke or abuse
alcohol, which can also lead to health problems.5 Other health problems linked to sexual abuse include sexually transmitted infections (including
HIV/AIDS) and unintended pregnancies.
If you're pregnant
Pregnancy can be an especially
dangerous time for women who are in abusive relationships. Abuse may get worse or even start during pregnancy. As many as 4% to 8% of all pregnant
women are in abusive relationships.2 Problems during pregnancy, such
as low weight gain,
anemia, infections, and bleeding, are higher for these
Babies who are born to abused women also suffer. Abuse during
pregnancy has been shown to increase the baby's risk of low birth weight,
premature birth, and death.2
There's no excuse for abuse. If you are being abused, it's time to get help. You deserve to be safe. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.