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THE BATTERED WOMAN: Signs and Symptoms of Intimate Partner Violence
Healthcare professionals are in a unique position to recognize these symptoms that abuse may be occurring.
Common Types of Injuries
- Bruises, scrapes, minor cuts, fractures or sprains, particularly to body torso.
- Injuries to the head (particularly the back where hair will cover the injury), chest, neck, breasts and abdomen.
- Strangulation - common in domestic violence.
- Injuries during pregnancy.
- Repeated injuries or multiple injuries.
- Evidence of prior or similar injuries.
The Stress Of Living With Ongoing Abuse May Cause:
- Imagined pain or pain due to widely distributed trauma without physical evidence.
- Gynecologic problems, frequent vaginal or urinary tract infections, pelvic pain.
- Frequent use of prescribed or over-the-counter tranquilizers or pain medications.
- Physical symptoms related to stress, chronic post-traumatic stress disorder, other anxiety disorders, or depression including: Fatigue, decreased concentration, chronic headaches, abdominal and gastrointestinal complaints,chest pain, palpitations, dizziness, numbness or tingling of extremities and difficulty breathing.
Behavioral Signs Of Domestic Violence:
- Denial or minimization of violence by partner or victim.
- Victim is overly apologetic for taking your time.
- Exaggerated sense of personal responsibility for relationship, including self-blame for partner’s violence.
- Reluctance of victim to speak in front of partner.
- Intense irrational jealousy expressed by partner or reported by victim.
- Partner accompanies victim, insists on staying close, or answers questions for her.
Psychological Symptoms Of Domestic Violence
- Feelings of isolation and inability to cope.
- Suicide attempts or gestures.
- Panic attacks and other anxiety symptoms.
- Alcohol or drug abuse.
- Post-traumatic stress reactions or disorder.
An Abuser’s Use Of Control Within A Relationship May Result In:
- Lack of transportation, access to finances, or ability to communicate by telephone.
- Limited access to routine or emergency medical care.
- Noncompliance with treatment regimens.
- Not being allowed to obtain or take prescribed medication.