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As part of our series of blogs supporting #16days of Action Against Domestic Violence, we focus on the impact of domestic abuse on the mental health of victims.

Recent studies have demonstrated strong links between exposure to intimate partner violence and mental health. It is therefore now commonly accepted that domestic abuse can cause depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, self-harming and suicidal thoughts. Almost two thirds of domestic abuse survivors have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of their experiences, which in turn can impact a victim’s ability to work and support any dependents.

There are also strong links between sufferers of mental ill health and abuse perpetration, as those who present as vulnerable are often targeted by perpetrators. Where there is a known mental health diagnosis, a perpetrator can also use this to make the victim feel isolated, convincing them that no one would believe or understand them. Some victims are fearful of the impact their mental health diagnosis may have on their ability to parent and their fear that a child may be removed from their care. This can therefore result in victims avoiding their GPs and other mental health support services, which in turn results in victims becoming hidden away from those best equipped to identify domestic abuse and support them with their mental health.

It is imperative that victims of domestic abuse are aware of the support available to protect their mental and physical health against perpetrators. At Ramsdens, our Family team prioritise those under immediate threat from domestic abuse. We work closely alongside local organisations that offer support to victims, as well as can obtain urgent injunctive orders on a victim’s behalf. These orders include Non-Molestation Orders to prevent a perpetrator from approaching or contacting the victim and Occupation Orders, which if the criteria is met, can prevent a perpetrator from entering the property in which the victim resides.

Women's Aid are asking decision makers to recognise how domestic abuse affects women’s mental health, and to fund and work with specialist domestic abuse services, to include resourcing for a range of therapeutic and holistic mental health support.

If you believe you or someone you know are suffering from domestic abuse, we are here to help. Please get in touch with our Family team in confidence by calling 08000 147720 or email


Here are some useful contact numbers:

  • Police - emergency - 999