Violence against women by intimate partners results in similar health effects worldwide — regardless of culture, class, or race — Lancet reports.
World Health Organization researchers interviewed some 20,000 women from South America, Asia, and Africa, first about their current health status and then about their lifetime experience of physical or sexual abuse at the hands of a male partner.
The researchers found that women with any experience of abuse were more likely to report:
- being in poor health
- within the past 4 weeks, having difficulties with walking or activities of daily living, pain, memory loss, dizziness, or vaginal discharge
- having thought about or attempted suicide
The authors call the consistent association between violence and ill health across the regions of the world "striking." Writing in Journal Watch Psychiatry, M. Katherine Shear reminds clinicians "that leaving an offending partner increases risk for homicide."