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Effects of violence

The physical and psychological consequences of domestic violence are serious and can vary greatly from person to person. The effects also differ depending on the gender of the person affected by violence.

There are currently too few studies and experiences to describe the effects of domestic violence on people who do not define themselves as women or men. Therefore, at this point we only describe the effects of violence on women* and men*.

Women as victims of domestic violence

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Domestic violence is considered one of the biggest health risks for women worldwide.

The physical and psychological consequences of violence are serious and can vary greatly. Possible effects are:

  • You suffer from sleep disorders and nightmares.
  • You suffer from nausea, dizziness, rapid heartbeat or anxiety.
  • You no longer feel joy.
  • You are finding it increasingly difficult to regulate your everyday life.
  • You suffer from headaches, stomach or back pain.
  • You feel worthless and have less and less confidence in yourself.
  • You treat yourself in a self-harming manner, for example by consuming more alcohol or other drugs or repeatedly putting yourself in danger.
  • You hurt yourself.
  • You suffer from diffuse pain.
  • You are afraid for your life.
  • You think about killing yourself.
  • You suffer from eating disorders.
  • You can no longer adequately care for your children.

Violence is identified as the cause of injuries and health problems only in a small percentage of women who are abused.

Affected women are often unable to speak on their own about the actual cause of their injuries.

Men as victims of domestic violence

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Men often find it difficult to see themselves as victims of domestic violence or of violations of their personal freedom and to get help and support.

Often the focus is on feelings such as shame or the fear of not being taken seriously. But domestic violence against men is not an isolated case either, as the Federal Ministry's study on "violence against men" in 2004 clearly shows.

First of all, it is generally important to overcome the threshold of your own inhibitions and fears and seek conversation in order to find out alternatives to your previous actions.

Various advice centers, some of which also cover specialized topics, are available as first points of contact.

Since sexual violence can be part of domestic violence, affected men can contact the specialist advice center Zartbitter Münster e.V. Here you have the choice between a female advisor and a male advisor.

Information for homosexual men who experience violence in their relationships can be found at: