Increased risk of depression appears to be a consequence of spouse or partner abuse rather than a character trait of victims.
This evidence comes from a study of 397 women in Seattle, USA, who had reported abuse during a 14-month period. Researchers monitored the women for symptoms of depression, checking in three months, nine months and two years after the initial report of abuse, and they also surveyed them on subsequent physical, psychological and sexual abuse.
As the violence decreased or stopped, the women's risk of depression fell as well, says lead researcher May Kernic, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington. It dropped 35 percent when abuse ceased altogether and 27 percent when physical or sexual abuse stopped but psychological abuse continued. The findings appear in an issue of Violence and Victims.
South African statistics
Studies conducted in South Africa show that South African women are by no means exempt from this scourge. It was found that one in every four women is assaulted by their husbands/boyfriends every week and that the average woman stays in an abusive relationship for 5, sometimes even 10 years before leaving.
Previous studies have shown that violence increases the likelihood of depression and other psychological problems.
"Do you take this woman be your lawful wedded punchbag?"