World Health Organization revealed in their study that female victims of domestic violence hide a wide range of physical and mental side effects beyond the initial trauma.

This study is one of the most far-reaching assessments ever made into domestic violence in developing countries. Over 24,000 female participants between the ages of 15 and 49 were asked if they had experienced physical or sexual violence from a current or former male partner. The abused women were then further asked if they had any subsequent physical and mental health problems.

These investigations took place between 2000 and 2003 and included women from Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, Namibia, Peru, Samoa, Thailand and the United Republic of Tanzania.

Women who had a history of domestic abuse reported suffering from specific symptoms such as difficulty walking, trouble performing daily activities, pain, memory loss, dizziness and vaginal discharge. They also reported increased emotional distress and suicidal thoughts and attempts. Researchers even found that the mental issues seem to last long after the violence has ended.

Factors such as age difference, education and marital status did not seem to influence the association between partner violence and the appearance of these physical and mental health problems.

The study results highlighted the urgent need to address partner violence in national and global health-sector policies and programs.

Future studies will be designed to further measure the mortality and life expectancy among women who are victims in intimate-partner violence.