17 July, 2009
Learning To Trust Again: Intimate Partner Violence
Although statistics vary, over a life time, over twenty percent of women may suffer an Intimate partner violence (IPV) episode. IPV survivors can view their abuse as a breach of trust, isolating them from society and leaving them with an incredibly sense of loneliness.
IPV survivors also have a higher rate of physical and mental health problems with an increase in depression, PTSD, drug abuse and poor health. Dr Christina Nicolaidis talked about her study, to Hamish Holewa, for IPP-SHR podcasts.
Christina's study focused on how IPV survivors want their health providers to talk about the rest of their health, and on what IPV survivors thought about the connection between abuse and mental/physical health symptoms. It was found that women who are IPV survivors are very aware that the abuse is related to mental and physical symptoms, but they wanted the providers to holistically understand their symptoms and not dismiss symptoms purely because they are IPV survivors.
Trusting health professionals to view their symptom holistically was a large concern, women felt unsure of disclosing information: the more the providers knew, the more chance they could use it against them, making the women feel their symptoms were all in their head.
Respect from a health provider towards the women was seen as very important: women wanted respect towards their whole selves. Health providers need to be very sensitive about these issues: an appropriate preface is required before the discussion of violence can begin.
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