Mental health consequences of intimate partner violence in Vhembe district, South Africa

SOURCE: General Hospital Psychiatry
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
TITLE AUTHOR(S): K.Peltzer, S.Pengpid, J.McFarlane, M.Banyini
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Capabilities (HSC)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 8091
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/2561

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The aim of this study was to assess the contributions of different forms of intimate partner violence (physical violence, sexual violence, psychological abuse, and stalking) on symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. In all 268 women (18 years and older) consecutively receiving a protection order in the Vhembe district in South Africa were assessed by an external interviewer. Hierarchical regressions tested the unique effects of different types of intimate partner violence on PTSD and depression. In terms of PTSD symptom severity, more than half (51.9%) of the sample reported severe PTSD and 66.4% reported severe depression symptoms. Two types of intimate partner violence (physical and sexual) were significantly associated with PTSD symptoms, while only psychological violence was moderately correlated with depression symptoms. Physical abuse contributed to the prediction of PTSD and psychological abuse to depression. A significant number of women with protection orders suffer from PTSD and depression. The results confirm a relationship between severity of intimate partner violence and mental health problems (PTSD and depression). Assessment of intimate partner violence should incorporate the multiple dimensions that have been identified as contributing to poor mental health.