The Psychological Effects Of Domestic Violence

One in every four women will experience domestic violence at some point in their life. A number of people mistakenly only consider the effects of the actual abuse as the only repercussion of this behavior, such as physical wounds. However, abuse in any form comes along with more repercussions, with the most stifling being the psychological effects.


Abuse is a painful situation that causes many victims to look for ways to cope with their pain. In extreme cases of abuse, a victim may mentally disassociate themselves from the abusive act, causing them to repress certain parts of their life as a way to remove the event from their memory. Unfortunately, dissociation isn't relegated to abuse and often spills over into other areas of life, leaving the victim to feeling confused and numb.


Domestic violence can also evoke extreme feelings of fear that can eventually lead to anxiety. Many of the factors present during their abusive experience can serve as triggers for anxiety. Take a woman who is beaten by her spouse whenever their children are away from home, for instance. This victim might experience extreme anxiety whenever their children aren't with them, even if the abuser is nowhere in sight.


Some women involved in domestic violence situations will also experience shame. For some victims, the false idea that they have caused the abuse in some way or that they are the only person dealing with the issue can lead to this feeling. These feelings of shame can also spill into other areas of the victim's life, causing them to have a reduced sense of self-worth and self-confidence, which can negatively affect the manner in which they are able to interact with others.

Moving Beyond Abuse

It's important to understand that the psychological effects of abuse can last far beyond the time-frame of the actual act of abuse. For this reason, simply removing the victim from the abusive situation won't necessarily erase their psychological effects. Recovery will require more.

Successful recovery from this type of situation can be achieved with professional mental health counseling. With professional mental health counseling services, the victim is provided with an outlet to openly share and express their psychological concerns under the guidance of a trained professional that can help them process and learn to move past these effects.

It doesn't matter if you are the victim of domestic violence or a loved one; recognizing the psychological effects of this abuse is key to a successful recovery.