Domestic Violence and Mental Health

Woman standing with her eyes closed looking sad

Anna started seeing LifeWire’s Mental Health Therapist because she was experiencing symptoms of severe trauma. She felt numb and disoriented, had trouble focusing at work, and was having panic attacks.

Abuse, whether physical or psychological, can affect survivors’ mental health. People who experience trauma because of domestic violence are at significantly higher risk for PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Survivors may also try to escape pain and depression with substance use or consider suicide. Continue reading “Domestic Violence and Mental Health”

Why I Give: Sandy Noll

Sandy Noll smilingGrowing up in a middle class family in the suburbs, where kids played from sun-up to sun-down, I couldn’t imagine that life wasn’t perfect in every home. I didn’t know that kids I went to school with suffered at the hands of a parent, or watched a parent be abused. It wasn’t until I was in my late 40’s and reconnected with a high school friend, who lived in an abusive home as a child, did I realize how prevalent DV is.

Having been a single mom for most of my adult life, I have struggled financially at times. I have couch surfed for months on end, finally realizing I was “homeless.” I have sold personal items on Craigslist to pay for a tank of gas so I could meet my clients. I can’t even imagine going through any of what I did, fearful an abuser would some how get to me.
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Abuse and PTSD

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so we’re turning our attention to one of the most common mental health issues affecting survivors of domestic abuse: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.

What is PTSD?

PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can develop in people who have experienced (either directly or indirectly) a scary, shocking, or dangerous event. We often think about PTSD in relation to combat veterans, but it’s also common among survivors of domestic violence and other types of abuse.

Everyone experiences trauma in their own way. If two people experience the same traumatic event, it’s possible for one of them to develop PTSD and not the other. Any traumatic event can cause PTSD, whether it was an isolated incident like a sexual assault, or long-term trauma like an abusive relationship. If you’re concerned you or someone you know may have developed PTSD, read on to learn more. Continue reading “Abuse and PTSD”

Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

Curly-haired woman in black looking down

DV and Sexual Assault

Did you know that sexual assault and domestic violence often go hand in hand? When we hear the term sexual assault, we often think of attacks by strangers. This isn’t always the case. In fact, around 33% of sexual assaults are committed by a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend.

Intimate partner violence also tends to start young, during the “tween” or teenage years. The CDC reports that among survivors of sexual assault, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, more than 22% of female survivors and 15% of male survivors experienced intimate partner violence for the first time between the ages of 11 and 17. Between the ages of 18 and 24, those figures jump to nearly half of female survivors and one third of male survivors.

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