Life after abuse

The effects of trauma

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Domestic violence and abuse survivors can face ongoing and challenging effects of abuse.

It can take time to adjust to living in a safe environment, especially if a perpetrator was severely controlling and/or violent and committed the actions over an extended period of time.

On the journey to recovery, survivors and those who support them should understand that healing takes time.

The effects of this trauma can vary widely person to person as responses to stress, age, and the frequency and severity of abuse are individual.

Symptoms can include:

  • Depression, including prolonged sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Low self-esteem and questioning sense of self
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts (if you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, contact Samaritans by calling 116 123)
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including flashbacks, nightmares, or physical sensations such as sweating, nausea or trembling