Women who are either physically and emotionally abused are much more likely than others to develop physical and mental problems, even when the abuse is of “low severity.”
These findings and others were published in today’s Journal of General Internal Medicine. All reiterate a fact that long been known — that the physical and emotional abuse of women is a major health problem in the U.S.
Low-severity abuse, which was defined as shoves, grabs or threats against a woman or her children, was found to induce anxiety, depression, diarrhea, abnormal vaginal discharge, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite.
Dr. Jeanne McCauley, a physician advisor for the Johns Hopkins Medical Services Corporation, said that low severity abuse is a major health problem in the United States, yet is rarely reported or treated. Study authors urge physicians, public health workers, and researchers to find out whether their patients are being abused and to be aware of the negative health affects abuse can cause.
[Source: UPI – October 6, 1998]