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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Injuries and Wounds > Physical Abuse: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Abuse and Violence

Physical Abuse

Physical Abuse | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the injury?

First, the victim's physical injuries must be treated by a healthcare provider. Bone fractures may need to be repaired. If there are internal injuries, surgery may be needed. Next, if possible, the victim needs to separate himself or herself from the abuser. He or she may have to stay with a friend or relative or move to a shelter. Sometimes children need to be placed in foster care.

The ultimate goal in treating a victim of physical abuse is to get the person to reestablish his or her life without the abuser. For many reasons, the victim may not be able or ready to leave the abuser. Providing the victim with information about ways to get help in the future is very important. If he or she has a plan in place for leaving the abuser, maybe the next time he or she is abused, he or she will be able to get away safely.

What are the side effects of the treatments?

Side effects depend on the treatment used. Surgery to repair internal injuries, for example, may cause bleeding, infection, or allergic reaction to anesthesia.

What happens after treatment for the injury?

Victims of physical abuse will need counseling. They may need help to regain their self-esteem. Support groups can be helpful in this healing process.

Long-term effects can include posttraumatic stress disorder. The victim may have the following conditions:

  • anxiety disorders
  • depression
  • feelings of isolation
  • irritability
  • nightmares and flashbacks
  • a tendency to avoid other people
  • Even if the victim doesn't suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder, he or she may have other long-term effects, such as:

  • living in poverty
  • poor self-esteem
  • trouble staying in school or keeping a job
  • Studies show that half of men who abuse their partners also abuse their children. Abused mothers often have trouble holding jobs. They also are more likely to need welfare. This means that children from abusive homes are at a greater risk of being poor and homeless.

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    Physical Abuse: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: Elizabeth Smith, BA
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 08/29/01

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