DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Surprisingly enough, domestic violence affects more than just the immediate victim. Domestic violence is a growing, widespread social problem in America. In the majority of all cases, the victim is spousal or intimate. Children that live in a household where domestic violence is prevalent are also affected. Domestic violence not only has short-term effects on the victim, it also has long-term effects. The long-term effect of this violent abuse is usually physical, psychological, and economical.

The immediate effects of physical violence are usually obvious, but the long-term effects seem to hide deep within the victim's body. Many physical injuries sustained by women seem to cause long-term medical difficulties, particularly as they grow older. Many experience arthritis, hypertension, and heart disease because of broken bones, high stress levels, frequent medical deficiencies, and scar tissue from internal damage. The primary and immediate focus for most victims is the physical injury, while the emotional and psychological abuse inflicted has a larger impact overall.

Depression, which sometimes leads to suicide, is the most traumatic effect of domestic violence and abuse. In addition, victims may also experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This disorder's characteristic symptoms are flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, and insomnia. Children that live in the violent environment may also fall victim to behavioral or emotional deficiencies, including depression and anxiety.

A child's response to violence may vary from aggression to withdrawal. A child may develop a sense of social acceptance to this behavior and become the abused or the abuser. Psychological effects can be devastating. In addition to physical and psychological effects, economic effects are a large factor in domestic abuse cases. Domestic violence victims have much higher insurance rates and medical costs due to physical and psychological injuries.

The cost then passes on to the normal consumer in higher insurance and medical rates. Illness and injuries cause victims to miss work, which eventually leads to job loss. Most women who try to escape from a violent relationship usually have to move a number of times; this displacement costs a considerable amount of money and disables the victim from finding long-term, gainful employment. If the victim cannot keep a job, they will usually receive financial aid from the government, which also costs the unaffected citizen financially. In conclusion, domestic violence effects more than the outward appearance of the victim. It affects the psychological, emotional, and financial stability they so desperately need.

Years afterward, the victim suffers from the long-term effects of abuse. Domestic violence scars, not only the victim, but also everyone in the household. Studies should look past the short-term effects and study more on the long-term, life altering damage of innocent victims. All Americans suffer from this ever-growing disease called violence.