Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Marla Ahlgrimm: Domestic Violence Against Women Impacts Overall Health

Domestic violence against women is an epidemic that can’t be ignored. Aside from the emotional scars that are left, it can leave behind a host of physical and emotional health issues that must be treated in order for a woman to regain control of her life. Marla Ahlgrimm explains in the following brief question and answer session.

Q: How widespread the problem is domestic violence?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Approximately 27% of all women in the United States have experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. Often, this is at the hands of a spouse or partner and may include verbal abuse.

Q: What are some physical issues that can result due to physical and sexual abuse and assault?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Women who are physically or sexually abused can suffer with a host of health conditions. This includes chronic migraines, gastrointestinal disturbances, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, circulatory problems, and asthma. Bladder and kidney infections along with irritable bowel syndrome and joint disease are also common.

Q: How does sexual assault affect the reproductive system?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Unwanted pregnancy is the most prolific side effect of rape and sexual abuse. However, sexually-transmitted diseases and infections may also occur. Women who experience repeated sexual trauma are at a higher risk of gynecological disorders and pelvic inflammatory disease. Perhaps more alarmingly, women who become pregnant as a result of rape may delay prenatal care and are prone to pregnancy difficulties and perinatal death.

Q: What are some behaviors common among women who experience domestic and sexual abuse?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Having a history of domestic abuse, especially of a sexual nature, can lead to a number of negative health behaviors. This includes drug and alcohol use, eating disorders, and high-risk sexual behavior outside of the relationship.

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