Preventing intimate partner violence improves mental health

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Evidence shows that intimate partner violence profoundly affects survivors’ mental health. Worryingly, when seeking care, services are often found to be lacking. Photo: Pexels


(World Health Organization) — Intimate partner violence is the most common form of violence against women, affecting around 641 million women and girls globally. It profoundly impacts their mental health, increasing risks of depression, anxiety and other mental health problems. Unfortunately, the critical and often destructive links between violence and mental health have long been neglected.

The World Health Organization (WHO), which works to prevent and respond to gender-based violence through the health sector, contributed to the first of its kind 2022 Lancet Psychiatry Commission on intimate partner violence and mental health.

This Commission brought together international experts from a variety of backgrounds (academics, clinicians, and those with lived experience). It was convened to consider progress in reducing the prevalence of intimate partner violence and associated mental health harms, and to establish a roadmap for strengthening responses across mental health services, research, and policy. (…)

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