The Consequences of Conjugal Violence

No matter what form it takes, conjugal violence leaves its mark, sometimes permanent, on the mental and physical health of the abused women.

Emotional Distress

Conjugal violence alters the psychological equilibrium and well-being of abused women. Repeatedly being isolated, intimidated or humiliated often leads to a state of post-traumatic stress or depression, the signs of which can vary greatly: distress, anxiety or panic attacks, anxiety, frayed nerves, irritability, fear, sadness, despair, shame, anger, feelings of helplessness, insecurity or guilt, loss of self-confidence and self-esteem, withdrawal, demotivation, etc.

This deep-seated angst sometimes leads to self-destructive behaviours (an unhealthy reliance on medications, excess drug or alcohol use, self-harming, suicide attempts, etc.).

Health Problems

The instability and stress maintained by the cycle of conjugal violence can have many impacts on the physical condition of abused women: problems with sleep, digestion or eating, allergies, muscle pain, headaches, skin problems, lower energy levels, exhaustion, lowered immune system, menstrual problems, tremors, hypertension, cognitive difficulties, etc.

Physical Injuries

Physical conjugal violence harms the physical integrity of the abused woman. They can sustain bruises, broken teeth, fractures, burns, concussions, internal bleeding, etc., and some injuries can be extremely serious. These injuries sometimes cause long-term damage or permanent disabilities and can even lead to death.

Altered Relations with Family and Friends

Often the source of tension with family or friends, conjugal violence affects the social relationships of the abused woman. She may lose the trust and esteem of her family and friends, which at times may result in breaking ties with them completely.

Out of shame, guilt, embarrassment, fear, insecurity, distrust or even resignation, some women may choose to avoid their social circle. Having to relocate and change activities as a result of the situation may also substantially alter their social life.

Altered Relations with Children

In conjugal violence situations, the controlling partner assumes all the power in their family, while the abused woman has practically none. This imbalance has a major impact on children and teens, who often react to it by rejecting the authority of the victim. In the face of this imbalance, some children also feel responsible for protecting their mother, which can become very dangerous for them.

Financial Insecurity, Poverty and Social Exclusion

Conjugal violence impacts the financial security of the abused woman. She may find it difficult to hold down a job, she may lose her job or she may have to deal with legal, relocation, medical treatment and hospitalization expenses; money becomes a big problem. Regardless of their original social status or the amount of schooling they have, conjugal violence victims are especially vulnerable to poverty. Some may find themselves completely excluded from the job market and homeless for the long term.

Social Costs

Conjugal violence puts a lot of pressure on the social welfare system, resulting in significant costs for our community: the cost of public safety services, the cost of civil and criminal legal proceedings, costs for the health system and for social services, employment insurance and income security benefits, etc.

Employers also have to deal with the effects of conjugal violence on victims: absenteeism, decline in performance, loss of talent, increased group insurance costs, etc.

If you fear for your safety, don’t hesitate to call the police at 911
or SOS violence conjugale at 514-873-9010 or 1 800-363-9010.
These services are always available.