Health consequences of domestic violence

It is estimated that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience physical violence from their partner. Besides the physical injuries that someone can suffer from, there are short-term and long-term health issues related to domestic violence as well. Below are some health consequences for both men and women.

What are some common physical health effects of domestic violence?


Migraines or headaches

Broken and sprained bones

Traumatic Brain Injury


High Blood Pressure

Eye injuries

Gastrointestinal Disorders or Issues

Substance use


What are some sexual or reproductive health effects of domestic violence?


STIs/HIV/AIDS or Over-testing for STIs/HIV/AIDS

Unintended pregnancies


Bleeding or anemia during pregnancy

Premature birth

Low birth weight of infant

Keeping you from having access to birth control

Refusing to use condoms during sex


What are some emotional effects of domestic violence?


Depression/Post-Partum Depression

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Suicidal behavior

Low self-esteem

Inability to trust others, especially in intimate relationships

Emotional detachment

Sleep disturbances



Your doctor should be screening for violence in the home. Even if you are not asked - be sure to tell your medical provider any concerns you have. Our environment affects our health and the sooner you get connected to someone who can help, the sooner your health can improve. 



Strangulation, often called “choking”, is when someone keeps another from breathing or getting oxygen to the brain, sometimes resulting in loss of consciousness or death. This can happen when someone places pressure on someone’s neck by either using their hands, clothing, or something else that can be wrapped around the neck. Sometimes, the person will also sit on the person’s chest or will suffocate them by placing their hand or an object over their mouth and/or nose. 

If you have been strangled, this is very serious and the need for medical care is urgent. It is important that you go to your nearest Emergency Room or doctor and tell them you were strangled. 


Some signs and symptoms to be aware of include:

Loss of memory after the incident or not being able to remember what happened

Head or scalp pain

Neck pain

Throat soreness

Ringing in the ears

Seeing stars or losing hearing during the incident 

Loss of bladder or bowel control or realizing that your clothing is wet or soiled

Redness or bruising around the neck and chin

Red dots, called petechiae, around the face, in the mouth, or in the whites of the eyes

Voice changes