Partner violence and women’s health
Intimate-partner violence and mental health
Around the world, mental health problems, emotional distress, and suicidal behaviour are common among women who have suffered partner violence (2). In the WHO Study emotional distress was identified through symptoms such as crying easily, inability to enjoy life, fatigue, and thoughts of suicide in the 4 weeks prior to the interview. In all settings, ever-partnered women who had ever experienced physical or sexual violence, or both, by an intimate partner reported significantly higher levels of emotional distress than non-abused women.
Likewise, in all settings, ever-partnered women who had been abused by their partners were much more likely to have ever thought of suicide (Figure 11), and to have attempted it than non-abused women. This is consistent with other research in developing and industrialized nations. Since the Study did not collect information about actual suicides, the association between violence and suicidal behaviour is likely to be underestimated.
"I tried drinking Genola. It’s a washing liquid.... I went to the hospital for that and they helped me out. I see
these faces, his family’s faces all staring at me, giving me the evil eye. Like they thought I should do it. I should die."
-Woman interviewed in Samoa