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"Effects of domestic violence on the mental health of married women in Tehran "

Author(s): Ahmadi B. | Alimohamadian M. | Golestan B. | Bagheri A. | Shojaeezadeh D

Journal: Journal of School of Public Health and Institute of Public Health Research
ISSN 1735-7586

Volume: 4;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 35;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Keywords: Women health

Background and Aim: Domestic violence against women is a major public health problem throughout the world. Feelings of shame, guilt and fear on the part of women, together with an unresponsive health care system continue to silence and isolate women who suffer abuse and negligence- with major effects on their physical and mental health. Mental health consequences include depression, anxiety, stress disorders, and somatization. This study estimates the prevalence of domestic violence and its associated effects on the victims' mental health. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study used data from 1189 married women over the age of 15, selected randomly among the residents of Tehran. Results: The overall prevalence of domestic violence was 35.7%. Thirty percent of the subjects had experienced physical violence, 29% suffered mental violence and 10% had been victims of sexual violence; many of these women had suffered all the three types. The most frequent types of physical violence included beating in the form of kicks, punches, and slaps (91%); common types of mental abuse included humiliation, verbal abuse and insults (93%), and threats of violence (83%). Data on mental health status indicate that overall, as many as 34.1% of women could be suffering from disorders such as depression and anxiety. The risk of psychiatric disease was 3.5 times higher in victims of violence compared to other women (OR = 3.5, CI 95% = 2.72 - 4.58). Major factors contributing to domestic violence were husband addiction, low economic status, and the number of children (P

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