South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault & Family Violence

Possible consequences of family violence

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Family violence can cause physical and psychological harm. And it can pass from one generation to the next – some children who experience family violence become violent adolescents due to learned behaviour and a feeling that their world needs controlling.

Family violence can affect physical and mental health, and lead to social and community issues, including homelessness.

Some immediate health impacts of family violence may include:

  • physical injuries – such as cuts, scrapes and bruises, fractures, dislocated bones
  • hearing loss
  • vision loss
  • miscarriage or early delivery
  • sexually transmitted diseases
  • knife wounds
  • gunshot wounds
  • homicide.

Longer term health impacts of family violence may include:

  • gastro-intestinal disorders associated with stress
  • headaches
  • back pain
  • fainting
  • seizures
  • gynaecological problems
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • eating disorders
  • post traumatic stress disorder
  • sleep disturbances
  • alcohol and substance misuse
  • smoking throughout pregnancy
  • homelessness
  • suicide
  • homicide. 10

Some victims of family violence are murdered or die as a result of their injuries.

Socially, family violence weakens family and community structures. Victims of family violence may find it difficult to go to school or get a job, or they may turn to crime, alcohol or other drugs.

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