Are there any support services available for survivors of domestic violence who have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder?

Everyone deserves to have relationships that are free from domestic violence. Studies show that the prevalence rate of post-traumatic stress disorder among survivors of domestic violence ranges from 31% to 84%, compared to approximately 3.5% of the general population. Exposure includes directly experiencing an event, witnessing a traumatic event that happens to other people, or learning that a traumatic event occurred to a family member or close friend. The symptoms of PTSD and PTSD C include flashbacks, emotional distress, physical reactions to disturbing memories, forgetting key parts of the traumatic event, emotional numbness, problems concentrating, and physical distress, such as sweating, tremors, or nausea.

PTSD can be successfully treated many years after the traumatic event occurred, meaning it's never too late to seek help. While it's normal for teens to show healthy anger and be defiant, this should not be confused with violence or threats, as this is not acceptable. Cognitive and mood symptoms may start or worsen after the traumatic event, but they are not due to injury or substance use. Not everyone who experiences trauma will experience symptoms of PTSD; however, domestic abuse statistics show the high outcome of PTSD and C-PTSD among domestic abuse survivors.

Acute stress disorder has been diagnosed between 19 and 50% of people who experience interpersonal violence (for example, people with PTSD) can avoid situations or people that remind them of the traumatic event, and may have strong negative reactions to something as common as a loud noise or an accidental touch. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder that often develops after a person experiences a traumatic event. However, many people with post-traumatic stress disorder need professional treatment to recover from psychological distress that can be intense and disabling. People with acute stress disorder may relive trauma, have memories or nightmares, and feel sleepy or detached from themselves.

While most, but not all, traumatized people experience short-term symptoms, most don't develop ongoing (chronic) post-traumatic stress disorder. They rarely go to caregivers for comfort, support, or protection, or don't respond to comfort when they're in distress. Partners for Peace offers advocacy, legal help, support groups and other resources to victims of abuse of all ages. In cases of domestic abuse, this can be compounded by the fact that the abuser stays close, often for long periods of time.

Clarissa Tohill
Clarissa Tohill

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