Domestic abuse victims more likely to suffer mental illness

Women who have been abused by a partner are three times more likely to suffer depression, anxiety or severe conditions such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder than other women, according to research.

The study is one of the first in the UK to probe the relationship between domestic abuse and mental health. It found that it was two-directional: women who had been to their GP about mental health problems were also three times more likely to report domestic abuse at a later date – nearly half of those who were abused already had mental health problems.

The research also suggests that women do not always tell their GP of abuse. Only 0.25% of women on the primary care lists used in the study had reported domestic abuse to the GP – while police report that one in four women are affected over their lifetime.

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