Domestic Violence (cont.)

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What is the history of domestic violence?

Domestic violence or violence that is expressed using intimate acts is unfortunately as timeless as history. Rape and other sexual exploitation have been used to demoralize groups of people as in German concentration camps, on North America-bound slave ships, and in World War II Japanese brothels filled with "comfort women." Society-sanctioned forms of violence against women include infibulation (fastening or buckling together, as in binding of feet, or of the female genitalia in an effort to render less able to walk or render unable to have sexual intercourse, respectively) and female genital cutting, also known as female circumcision. Virtually all the world's societies view or have viewed women as less valuable than men. From "honor" killings of women for being rape victims or having premarital sex in some countries, to women being omitted from serving on juries in the United States until 1701 and prevented from voting until 1920, the view that women are somehow second-class citizens encourages mistreatment of women.

What are the effects of domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse has major health and public-health consequences. Between 25%-50% of homeless families have lost their homes as a result of intimate partner abuse. Such victimization is also associated with nearly $6 billion in health-care costs and lost work productivity per year. Although psychological abuse can be harder to define than overt physical abuse, it has been found to cause at least as much damage.

Partner abuse of pregnant women has been associated with preterm deliveries of low-birth-weight babies. Domestic partner abuse puts children of the couple at risk for lower intellectual functioning, being victims of child abuse as children, and of intimate partner violence as adults. This form of family violence also puts children at higher risk of having emotional problems and engaging in drug abuse. Given such risks, the presence of intimate partner abuse in a family should be an important consideration in child custody issues.Domestic violence results in homicide as well. Victims who live in a household where weapons are present and drugs are used have a greater risk of being killed by their abuser.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/6/2014

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Domestic Violence - Warning Signs and Symptoms Question: What types of domestic abuse did you or a friend experience, and what were the warning signs?
Domestic Violence - Safety Plans Question: As a victim of domestic violence, a safety plan is essential. What is yours or your friend's?
Domestic Violence - Laws Question: Please discuss legal action or protection that has assisted you with partner abuse.
Domestic Violence - Prevention Question: In what ways have you helped prevent domestic abuse, either personally or for a friend or relative?
Domestic Violence - Getting Help Question: Which groups or organizations have helped you or a friend get support for domestic violence?

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