PTSD compromises battered women's future safety.J Interpers Violence. 2008 May; 23(5):635-51.JI
Intimate partner violence continues to be a social crisis that results in a complex array of physical and mental health problems. Although resources to counteract the effects of the violence are sometimes available, the posttrauma sequelae may prevent access by those in need. Using the Chicago Women's Health Risk Study, a naturalistic longitudinal study of 320 abused women, the current study examined the impact of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression on battered women's safety at follow-up. Participants completed both a baseline and follow-up interview, including data on abuse experiences. Results suggest symptoms of PTSD predict severity of violence at follow-up over the impact of help-seeking behaviors, perceived helpfulness of these behaviors, and social support. Implications of results are discussed.