Other consequences of domestic violence and abuse include victims suffering from self harm and suicidal thoughts. This is quite common amongst domestic abuse sufferers (Stark and Flitcraft, 1996; & Mullender, 1996). According to Women’s Aid, women who have experienced abuse are five times more likely to have suicidal thoughts and suicidal tendencies- that is to attempt suicide (Stark and Flitcraft, 1996; & Mullender, 1996). Also, one in third of women who attempt suicide can attribute the tendency with past or present abusive experiences (Stark and Flitcraft, 1996; & Mullender, 1996).

Domestic abuse, whether it is physical abuse or non-physical, can leave the victim with severe mental health in the form of psychological distress. Survivors of domestic abuse experience long lasting, long term effects on their mental health. Domestic abuse is the most common cause of depression in women (Astbury, J. (1999) ).

Tolman and Bhosley (1989) found that psychological maltreatment was a powerful predictor of the psychological problems women, who were victims, faced. In addition to this piece of evidence, further evidence supports this by stating that the more verbal aggression women are exposed to, the greater the likelihood of depression (Straus et al, 1989).

Domestic abuse is the common cause of depression and many other psychological or mental health difficulties in women ( 35%-73% of women experience depression and/or anxiety disorders ( 

70% of women who are psychiatric in-patients have histories of physical and/or sexual abuse ( This is also the case with 80% of women in secure settings (

 ·         Being socially isolated from friends and family can be a cause partner to be violent towards someone because they know that the victim has no one to turn to. This could lead to mental problems such as depression because the victim has no support in order to escape the violent relationship. This could easily lead to thoughts of committing suicide (Kyu & Kanai, 2005). Also the victim may be tormented by the abuser because they cannot just walk away otherwise they would be in financial difficulty. This is then used against them and is known by the abuser that they c
annot walk away. This can lead to mental health problems as well because the victim may feel helpless and depressed (Bornstein, 2006). 


Women suffering from domestic abuse, whether it is physical of non-physical, can be victims of mental ill health. Being diagnosed as mentally ill can have negative impacts on women as it can cause them being stigmatised and labelled which can lead them to feel isolated and alienated from the society and community ( Women who are experiencing domestic abuse in any form already feel quite isolated from society ( The labelling of a mental ill health only fuels this isolation and alienation. Furthermore after being diagnosed as mentally ill women may not feel confident enough and may not feel supported in reporting their perpetrators and pursuing court battles as they may be seen as mentally inept to have custardy of children, if children are involved (

Unfortunately, men who realise that their partner is suffering from mental ill health, due to the men’s violent behaviour, may take advantage of this. There are anumber of ways in which men can manipulate their female partners:

  • A man might tell his partner that she is going mad, and she might actually believe him.
  • He might try to persuade her by telling her that she would not be able to cope without him. She might believe him and think it is true. He has caused her to become dependent on him by making her think she needs to rely on him.
  • He might control her by controlling where she goes or not letting her out at all by telling her that she needs to be constantly taken care of due to her ill mental state.
Such manipulation can lead a woman to not only believe her abuser but become emotionally dependent on him ( This can result in an increased and longer violent and abusive relationship. It can be seen from this that in order to stay in control, the man can use manipulation and play mind games on the woman.

·         Other mental health problems may arise from being hit by a partner such as post traumatic stress disorder.  Also the abuser may make their victim believe that they cannot live without them therefore this leads to dependency and anxiety for the victim (

·         The victim may also become substance dependant as a consequence of being abused by their partner. They may start using drug and alcohol in order try to heal their pain, as well as this, the victim and their children who have witnessed domestic violence may develop post traumatic stress disorder (Roberts, Lawrence, Williams & Raphael, 2008).