More than 40 percent of women surveyed in the Seattle area reported they had been physically or psychologically abused by their husbands, dates or boyfriends, researchers said.The another study showed that women who have been slapped, kicked or otherwise abused were four times more likely to report severe depressive symptoms and three times more likely to report fair or poor health.

"This is an epidemic," said Dr. Robert Thompson of the Seattle-based Group Health Center for Health Studies, who led one study.
For their study, Thompson and colleagues interviewed a random sample of more than 3,400 women members of a Seattle health maintenance organization.

They found 44 percent of the women, aged 18 to 64, had suffered some form of what they call "intimate partner violence." Most reported more than one type -- for example, physical violence and verbal threats.
Intimate partner violence "harms women's physical and mental health even more than do other common conditions, such as back pain and even several forms of cancer," said Amy Bonomi of the Group Health Center for Health Studies, who wrote the second study.