Sexual and Domestic Violence Have Lasting and Serious Effects
Thursday, March 20, 2008 11:31 AM

Several studies recently published in medical journals show that sexual and domestic violence impact health care costs, the likelihood of needing medical care, and the dangers of pregnancy and childbirth.

The first study finds that middle-aged women who suffered physical or sexual abuse as children were much more likely to use health services and incurred significantly higher health costs. “Health Care Utilization and Costs Associated with Childhood Abuse” is in the March issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

The second study finds that children are more than twice as likely to use emergency room services if their mother has experienced severe domestic violence. This risk continues even after the abuse ends, up to three years later, implicating screening measures. The study is in the February issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Archives of Adolescent Medicine.

Finally, a study of Portuguese women finds that about twenty-five percent of pregnancies resulting in premature delivery involved physical abuse. The abuse was usually by an intimate partner. “Physical Abuse During Pregnancy and Preterm Delivery” is in the February issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Compiled from:  “Impact of Violence Lasting, Severe,” Family Violence Prevention Fund, 12 March 2008.