16 Facts for 16 Days – Days 7-9

Day 7: Domestic Violence and Health/Pregnancy

Women who have experienced domestic violence are at an increased risk of depression and suicide attempts; physical injuries; psychosomatic disorders; unwanted pregnancies; HIV and other STDs; being killed by a partner.

[World Health Organisation, World Report on Violence and Health, 2002]

International research shows that 25% of women who experience domestic violence are physically assaulted for the first time during pregnancy.

[[RCM (2006) Royal College of Midwives UK Domestic Abuse: A Position Paper]

5% of women in Ireland who experienced severe abuse in an intimate relationship suffered a miscarriage as a result of the abuse.

[National Crime Council and ESRI, Domestic Abuse of Women and Men in Ireland, 2005]

A study conducted by the Rotunda Maternity Hospital found that in a sample of 400 pregnant women, 1 in 8 had experienced abuse while they were pregnant.

[O’Donnell S, Fitzpatrick John M, McKenna PF, Abuse in Pregnancy – The Experience of Women, Nov 2000, Vol.98, No. 8]

Click here to see a message of support from Sam Coulter Smith and to read Aoife’s story.

Day 8: Domestic Violence & Injury

In 2008, there were 3,355 incidents of physical abuse disclosed to the Women’s Aid National Freephone Helpline. Reported physical abuse included being gagged and beaten; held down and choked to the point of unconsciousness; severely bitten; having chunks of hair fall out after being pulled around by it; and attempts at setting the woman on fire.

[Women’s Aid National Helpline and Support Services Annual Statistics Report 2008]

49% of women injured by their partner’s violence required medical treatment and 10% required a hospital stay.

[National Crime Council and ESRI, Domestic Abuse of Women and Men in Ireland, 2005]

Irish research found that of women who had experienced violent behaviour, 46% had been injured. Serious violent incidents were common, 10% of women were punched in the face; 10% punched or kicked on the body, arms, or legs; 9% choked; and 9% forced to have sex.

[Bradley, F, et al. (2002) Reported Frequency of Domestic Violence; Cross sectional survey of women attending general practice. British Medical Journal; Vol. 324]

For women aged 15-44 worldwide, acts of violence cause more death and disability than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents, and war combined.

[WHO (1997) Violence Against Women: A Priority Health Issue]

Click here to see a message of support from Sonya Lennon and to read Fiona’s story.

Day 9: The Economic Cost of Domestic Violence

The estimated economic cost of domestic violence to the Irish economy is €2.2billion a year. This is based on the Council of Europe (COE) figure that domestic violence costs each member state €555 per citizen (amounting to a total cost of €33 billion for the whole COE) annually in policing, health bills, lost productivity and court procedures.

[Ahern, TD, Dermot, Minister for Justice, speaking at the International Conference on Domestic Violence, Waterford, May 2008, quoted in ‘Domestic Violence costs the country €2.2bn’, The Irish Examiner, 30.5.08]

In Northern Ireland, £180,000,000 is the estimated total annual cost of domestic violence.

[Joint NIO/DHSSPS Strategy (2005) Tackling Violence at Home]

In Australia, it is estimated that if domestic violence against women was eliminated, potential costs savings of $207 million in the health sector and $1,801 million in production and leisure costs could be realised over time.

[Cadilhac, DA et al (2009) The health and economic benefits of reducing disease factors, Deakin University]

Click here to see a message of support from Claire Byrne and to read the specific costs of domestic violence in the UK.


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