Psychological effects of dating abuse

Emotional or psychological abuse can be verbal or nonverbal.Its aim is to chip away at the confidence and independence of victims with the intention of making her compliant and limiting her ability to leave.Some more recent and rigorous studies, however, have used large-scale data sources or longitudinal or follow-up designs, and reported significant links between child sexual abuse and later suicidal behaviour or ideation (Dube, Anda, & Whitefield 2005; Fergusson et al., 2008; Molnar, Berkman, & Buka, 2001).

Despite this, there is almost always pressure to define domestic abuse in terms of actual or threatened, physical violence.These more rigorous studies have arguably generated more reliable and generalisable findings, despite the assessment of child sexual abuse still being predominantly retrospective in design (Cutajar et al., 2010a, 2010b).Noteworthy is a series of twin studies conducted over the last decade, which have consistently revealed a link between child sexual abuse and adverse mental health and related outcomes for survivors. (2000), in an epidemiological and co-twin controlled analysis of 1,411 twin pairs, reported significant odds ratios for a range of psychiatric disorders in sexually abused women after controlling for family environment.While abuse was also related to a range of mental health disorders including suicide attempts, but not suicide ideation, the long-term effects of child sexual abuse were generally larger than the long-term effects of physical abuse.Overall, after adjusting for a range of other factors, children exposed to sexual abuse involving attempted or completed sexual penetration had rates of mental health disorders, including suicidality, that were 2.4 times higher than those of children not so exposed.

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