Health impact of domestic violence

Issues Ment Health Nurs. 1999 Jul-Aug;20(4):373-85. doi: 10.1080/016128499248547.


Health injuries and related problems are well documented for the victims of domestic violence (DV). The health impact of DV behaviors for batterers has gone virtually unstudied. This study addresses the self-reports of health consequences of DV for both batterers and victims. The participants, 31 female victims and 62 male batterers, had numerous medical and mental health visits during the previous six months. Fourteen batterers (23%) received health care as a result of self-inflicted injuries from their battering. Eleven victims (35%) had received health care as a result of being battered. Eighteen batterers (29%) and 20 victims (64%) felt their medical and mental health problems were directly related to the DV. Additionally, batterers identified greater levels of stress on several of the subscales of the Symptoms of Stress Inventory (Nakagawa et al., 1993) than a comparison sample of adult men. Health care access as a result of DV was abundant for both victims and batterers. When assessing for DV, health care providers should screen for perpetrators as well as victims.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Battered Women / psychology*
  • Domestic Violence / psychology*
  • Family Health*
  • Female
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Women's Health*