According to a new study from the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) and Newcastle University, women who experience intimate partner violence (IPV) are nearly twice as likely to suffer from mental disorders and are nearly 22 percent less likely to die within a decade. Totally fine after that.
The researchers make it clear that recovery from IPV — defined as physical, sexual, and psychological abuse — is the ultimate goal for survivors. However, the study notes that recovery potential is still unclear, making more research and measurement tools for IPV outcomes crucial.
“What we wanted to find out from this study is how long does it take to recover?” says study author and PhD student Mary Jean Carman. “Is hope a factor in recovery, or is time a more important factor? And does the person’s age and length of experience of abuse affect their ability to recover?
To answer these questions, the researchers conducted an anonymous online survey of 665 people with lived IPV experiences.
Participants were women between the ages of 18 and 65 who had left an abusive relationship more than two years ago, and the survey sought to determine how they were coping and whether recovery is possible.
About 45 per cent of Australian women will experience some mental disorder in their lifetime, but women interviewed in this study reported a 1.8 times domestic prevalence.
The survey also found that 90 percent of participants had used medical, housing, employment and community support services — similar proportions reported abuse lasting more than two years.
Of those 90 percent women, half had experienced abuse for 10 years and the other half for more than 10 years.
The supervisor of the doctoral thesis, Professor Francis Kay-Lambkin, said: “It is widely accepted worldwide that approximately one in three women will experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime, and yet current interventions have done little to reduce this number. done very little.”
Noting the importance of the study, Kay-Lambkin said more knowledge about the nature of IPV recovery is needed to design more effective solutions.