Effects of Abuse

What are the results of domestic violence or abuse?

The results of domestic violence or abuse can be very long-lasting. People who are abused by a spouse or intimate partner may develop:

  • sleeping problems
  • depression
  • anxiety attacks
  • low self-esteem
  • lack of trust in others
  • feelings of abandonment
  • anger
  • sensitivity to rejection
  • diminished mental and physical health
  • inability to work
  • poor relationships with their children and other loved ones
  • substance abuse as a way of coping

Physical abuse may result in death, if the victim does not leave the relationship.

What is the effect of domestic violence on children?

Children who witness domestic violence may develop serious emotional, behavioral, developmental, or academic problems. As children, they may become violent themselves, or withdraw. Some act out at home or school; others try to be the perfect child. Children from violent homes may become depressed and have low self-esteem.

As they develop, children and teens who grow up with domestic violence in the household are:

  • more likely to use violence at school or in the community in response to perceived threats
  • more likely to attempt suicide
  • more likely to use drugs
  • more likely to commit crimes, especially sexual assault
  • more likely to use violence to enhance their reputation and self-esteem
  • more likely to become abusers in their own relationships later in life

To learn more, go to HelpGuide.Org.