Domestic Violence (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Domestic Violence and Your Health
Domestic violence is the most common cause of injury to women ages 18 to 44 in the United States. After abuse starts, it usually continues. And it's likely to get worse over time. Abuse that starts with a slap may build up over time to kicking and shoving and finally choking.2
The repeated injury and stress of living in a violent relationship can cause long-lasting health problems, such as:
Abused women have a 50% to 70% increase in these kinds of major health problems.8 Women who are abused are also more likely to smoke or abuse alcohol, which can also lead to health problems.9 Other health problems linked to sexual abuse include sexually transmitted infections (including HIV/AIDS).9
If you're pregnant
Pregnancy can be an especially dangerous time for women who are in abusive relationships. Abuse may get worse or even start during pregnancy. About 6% of all pregnant women are in abusive relationships.1 Problems during pregnancy, such as low weight gain, anemia, infections, and bleeding, are higher for these women.
There's no excuse for abuse. If you are being abused, it's time to get help. You and your baby deserve to be safe. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.
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