29 The victims’ use of medical services is not limited to the
treatment of the immediate injuries caused by an episode of violence.
health consequences of domestic violence last long after the episode has
31 These long-term negative health consequences are increasingly being recognized as major health problem.
32 A growing body of literature exhibits the link between violence and abuse and increased risk of negative
health outcomes, including more physical health problems, higher use of
medical and mental healthcare services, and more frequent suicide attempts.
The prevalence of domestic violence can have a dramatic impact on families who have children who witness or are involved in the abuse.
Women’s Law Center notes “studies show that in 50%-70% of cases in
which a parent abuses another parent, the children are also physically
35 Children who witness domestic violence in the home also suffer
“emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and developmental impairments[.]”
some cases, children who experience domestic violence in the home grow
up to engage in the same behavioral patterns as their parents.
37 This not only perpetuates the cycle of domestic violence, but also creates many negative health and social consequences for these children as they grow.
Academy on Violence and Abuse found that exposure to adverse childhood
experiences is related to many negative health outcomes including addiction, sexually transmitted disease, obesity, broken bones, and medical conditions including diabetes and heart disease.
39 Episodes of domestic violence in the home can also have harmful effects on children’s educational
29. See generally Costs of IPV, supra note 23.
30. Domestic Violence Crisis Ctr., CDC Doctor: Domestic Violence is a Serious Public
Health Issue (Nov. 11, 2012 11: 38 PM), http://www.dvccct.org/dvcc-updates/medical-advocacy-news-c/ 3331-cdc-doctor-domestic-violence-is-a-serious-public-health-issue.html.
33. See SEXUAL VIOLENCE SURVEY, supra note 8.
34. See generally Helga Luest, Witness Justice, Addressing the Mental Health Impact of
Violence and Trauma on Children
1, 2 (2011), http://www.witnessjustice.org
35. Bowker et al., On the Relationship Between Wife Beating and Child Abuse, in
FEMINIST PERSPECTIVES ON WIFE ABUSE, 158, XX (Kersti Yllo and Michelle Bograd eds.,
1988). See also Violence and Domestic Abuse – Myths and Facts, supra note 9.
36. See generally PETER G. JAFFE ET AL., CHILDREN OF BATTERED WOMEN (Sage Pub.
39. THERESA DOLEZAL ET AL., HIDDEN COSTS IN HEALTH CARE: THE ECONOMIC IMPACT
OF VIOLENCE AND ABUSE (2009), available at