According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in four women experience an abusive relationship in their lifetime.
Medical studies now show that physical and emotional intimate partner violence alters the body at a cellular & chemical level and can increase numerous health risks.
- 70 percent higher rate of heart disease.
- Higher risk of breast, cervical and liver of cancer.
- Greater difficulty controlling chronic conditions, such as diabetes & asthma.
- Three times the normal rate of gynecological problems.
- Faster aging, lowered immunity & slower physical healing.
- A higher risk of developing stress-related mental health issues than patients with terminal cancer.
- Greater risk of pregnancy complications, early labor and miscarriage.
A survivor of domestic violence can expect negative health impacts for an average of 10 years after the end of an abusive relationship.
Survivors in Healthcare Options Resources and Education Services (SHORES), a domestic violence response program available at Via Christi Health hospitals since 2007, offers patients safety assessment and referral to domestic violence resources. This confidential service, a collaboration between Catholic Charities Harbor House and Via Christi Health, is available 24/7 at no cost to the patient or hospital.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. At Harbor House at Catholic Charities, through our shelter and support services and our outreach in the courts and hospitals, we strive to make everyone aware that domestic violence is not acceptable in a community that supports strong families. To learn more, visit CatholicCharitiesWichita.org.