IPV is a widespread public health problem that is associated with grim physical consequences including severe injury and death, as well as serious mental health, social and economic outcomes. The broad range of IPV consequences can be both immediate and long-term. Physical problems include injury, illness, chronic pain, sexually transmitted infection, and gynecological problems including pregnancy-related difficulties affecting mothers and their infants. Psychological challenges include depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Victims of IPV experience the following physical and medical problems that are associated with their history of abuse:
- Receive repeated physical injuries
- Experience more pain, such as head, pelvic and back pain
- Are sick more frequently
- Have a lowered immune status
- Have more gynecological disorders
- Have more sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS
- Have more difficulties with low birth weight pregnancy
- Have more central nervous system disorders
Victims of IPV suffer from a multitude of negative mental health consequences, including:
- Obsessive compulsiveness
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Interpersonal sensitivity
Depression is the leading cause of disability in the world and is one of the most prevalent consequences of IPV among women. Almost half of IPV victims (47.6%) suffer from depression.
Depression affects Hispanic and Black female victims of IPV to a greater extent than non-Hispanic White women. Among women who are diagnosed with depression, 38% of Hispanic women and 30% of Black women report having been victims of IPV, compared to 20% of non-Hispanic White women.
Victims of IPV also face difficulties with social and family relationships, with service providers and with employers, such as:
- Isolation from family and friends
- Less likely to use health and social services
- Strained relationships with health care providers
- Difficult relationships with their employers