Women who experience gender-based violence have higher incidence of anxiety, substance use disorders.

Women who reported experiencing gender-based violence, such as rape, sexual assault, intimate partner violence and stalking, had an associated higher lifetime prevalence of mental health disorders, dysfunction and disability, according to a study in the August 3 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on violence and human rights. Violence against women is a major public health concern, contributing to high levels of illness and death worldwide, according to background information in the article. “In the United States, 17 percent of women report rape or attempted rape and more than one-fifth of women report intimate partner violence (IPV), stalking, or both. There is mounting evidence that each of these forms of gender-based violence (GBV) is associated with mental disorder among women, although methodological shortcomings of existing studies constrain the inferences that can be drawn,” the authors write.

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