World Day Against Violence Against Women

On the occasion of the International Day of the Violence Elimination against Women

The Psychological effect of Domestic Violence on the Victim Women

Written by: Maryam Rahmani

Another: Domestic violence has a great impact on the psyche of women victims like: Post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal ideation, self-harm, etc. In this opportunity, we spoke with Fereshteh Zaker, a researcher in philosophy and psychology, a women’s rights activist, and member of the Women’s Studies Group of the Iranian Sociological Association, who has studied the psychological impact of violence on women’s lives.

– Please explain to the readers a little about stress disorder and the sign of it in women who experience domestic violence?

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a psychological disorder that occurs in some people after experiencing trauma. People with the disorder regularly fear that the similar painful experience may happen to them again. This is the reason that these people try to avoid any signs related to that incident. However, the slightest sign related to that incident keeps their minds busy and stressed. Thoughts and feelings related to that incident also recklessly invade their minds. Experiencing these symptoms can lead to other disorders in these people. Including sleep disorders, being watchful, depression, anger, memory problems, and even physical pain. Depends on the severity of each of the disorder’s symptoms, the patient’s normal and daily life is disrupted and he\she feels that he\she has lost control of the normal life. Of course, not all of these symptoms occur in one person. The severity and weakness of these symptoms depend on the underlying factors of each individual.

In general, women who have experienced domestic violence are two to three times more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder than women who have never been abused. Domestic violence includes psychological violence, physical violence, and sexual violence; Women who have experienced all three types of violence are nine times more likely to experience post-traumatic stress disorder than women who have not involved in violence.

In some people, the symptoms of the disorder reduced over a while. But there are groups of people whom, over time, not only the symptoms not subside but also they persist or intensify. These people alone can’t overcome their disorder and must seek professional help.

One of the most important factors that help people overcome this disorder is social support. According to researches, women who are in the cycle of domestic violence and are likely to repeat the experience of domestic violence are often either not receiving any social support at all or receive little social support. This is an important factor that these women can’t easily control the problems. On the other hand, the majority of women who are exposed to domestic violence are economically dependent on their husbands, and creating economic restrictions is a sample of domestic violence. This means that these women do not have financial capability to receive professional help.

These factors lead to the accumulation of symptoms and more complex disorders in these women, which may put them in a very difficult psychological situation and lead to worse consequences.

Such as isolation, severe depression, substance abuse, suicidal ideation, or fundamental personality changes.

Although cultural contexts, economic and educational problems in these areas affect the suicide rate in these provinces, the findings of several studies show that the percentage of the suicide which lead to death in these provinces is higher among married and divorced women. In some of these studies, family conflicts in married life, disputes with the spouse or spouse’s family have been specifically mentioned as an important factor in a suicide attempt. Due to the high rate of suicides among women in these provinces, some have pointed out that suicide, and specifically self-immolation, is feminine in these provinces. Therefore, if domestic violence is not the only factor leading women to commit suicide in these provinces, it is undoubtedly an important and influential factor.

These children suffer a lot of physical and psychological harm because they drop out of school and are deprived of the minimum necessary education. Most of these children also experience early pregnancy, which leads to a high mortality rate. Girls under the age of 15 are five times more likely to die from gestational injuries than girls over the age of 20.

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