The Link between Domestic Violence and Chronic Illness

Domestic abuse puts prolonged stress on the body, which can lead to all sorts of chronic diseases including fibromyalgia.

The Link between Domestic Violence and Chronic Illness

According to a global study, 30 percent of women are impacted by intimate partner, domestic or sexual abuse. It takes a lot for women to leave abusive relationships and to rise as survivors. Unfortunately, however, many of these women end up having health problems down the road, such as lower back pain, headaches, depression, diabetes, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, and other diseases. Many women and their doctors do not necessarily connect abuse with illness, but the research speaks for itself.

The Research

A 2013 study conducted by the Verizon Foundation, the MORE Magazine Society and the Society for Women’s Health Research found that women who had experienced domestic abuse experienced higher rates of chronic illness and pain than those who had not. According to the survey, 44 percent of the women had reported experiencing some form of domestic violence. In total, 70 percent of women over age 21 had a chronic illness condition, and, of the women who reported being victims of domestic violence, 81 percent were chronically ill.