It may seem obvious that living in an abusive relationship day in and day out will be bad for your health but here is a reminder :
Domestic abuse often starts or gets worse during pregnancy – it can cause many problems during pregnancy including miscarriage, premature labour and stillbirth. Being in an abusive relationship is not healthy for mother or baby.
I was diagnosed with Post-Natal Depression but what was causing the depression was the situation at home. My baby was fretful obviously picking up on the stress and I was exhausted. I wish I had spoken out and got help then rather than waiting.Karen, Slough.
Negative Coping Strategies
Alcohol misuse and substance misuse are much more common amongst people in an abusive relationship than others but this is often a coping strategy, a way to deal with the ongoing stress of living with an abuser.
Insomnia coupled with exhaustion is common – being on high alert constantly makes it difficult to sleep and ‘walking on eggshells’ and the constant demands of the abuser leads to exhaustion
Mental Health Problems
Most people experiencing domestic abuse suffer from some degree of anxiety and depression – there can be panic attacks, self-harm, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or obsessive compulsive disorders and longer-term chronic mental health conditions.
Longer-Term Health Problems
There is research showing links between being in an abusive relationship and the worsening of many other long-term conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic nerve pain, asthma, migraine and high blood pressure
Sexual abuse and rape can cause injuries, sexually – transmitted disease, urinary and pelvic and genital infections
Physical injuries may leave bruises, scars, broken bones and let’s not forget the ultimate physical injury, death.
This is the harsh reality of domestic abuse and with 2 women a week dying in the UK at the hands of their partner/ex we can’t forget this.
These symptoms won’t have any chance of getting better until the cause is removed. Think of your safety, your health and your wellbeing and do the right thing – get help before it’s too late.
Where to get help
SARC – Sexual Assault Referral Centre – find your local one if you have been a victim of sexual assault. They don’t inform the police unless you want them to and your treatment will be confidential.
Crisis Mental Health Support – call SANE on 0300 304 7000 4.30pm – 10.30pm daily
Samaritans free on 116 123 at any time of day.