There are many emotional, physical, and social difficulties that stem from abuse.
Common effects of abuse on women include:
- Self blame and guilt
- Low self-esteem and lack of confidence
- Physical symptoms: anxiety, depression, tension, insomnia, change in appetite, high stress levels
- Lack of trust
- Drug and alcohol abuse
Children who witness family violence suffer the same consequences as those who are directly abused.
Children see or hear 40% to 80% of domestic violence incidents.
Abused infants often exhibit a state of “frozen watchfulness” – remaining passive and immobile, but intently observant of the environment. This appears to be a protective strategy in response to a fear of attack.
The nature of abusive experiences adversely influences the development of their brains resulting in a devastating impact on neurodevelopment.
Other effects of abuse on children include:
- Inability to concentrate, behavioural and learning problems
- Extreme shyness
- Clinging behaviour
- Feelings of guilt, helpelessness, loneliness
- Confusion or conflicting feelings towards parents
- Fear of physical harm and abandonment
- Truancy or running away behaviour
- Early use of alcohol or drugs
- Criminal offending
- Weight problems
- Speech disorders
- Constant stomachaches, headaches, ulcers, rashes, diarrhea, or bedwetting
- No connection to their own feelings
- Difficulty eating