Domestic Violence and Suicide

Domestic Violence and Suicide

 

Domestic violence is a risk factor for suicide. Studies have shown a connection between exposure to intimate partner violence and suicide. The term “intimate partner violence” describes physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse. Intimate partner violence can lead to a number of psychological consequences, including suicide.

In a study published in Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior, 41(4):372-383, Cavanaugh,  Messing, Del-Colle, O’Sullivan & Campbell, (2011) reported that women who had been victimized by intimate partner violence and who had a chronic illness or disability had 2.4 times the risk of threatening or attempting suicide than women who had been victimized but did not have a chronic illness or disability. Additionally, women who had been victims of intimate partner violence and whose partners had threatened or attempted suicide were at greater risk of suicide than women victims whose partners had never threatened or attempted suicide. Younger victims of intimate partner violence were more at risk for suicidality than older victims. Of the women who had experienced intimate partner violence, 23% had threatened or attempted suicide.

The American Association of Suicidology has a fact sheet on suicide and sexual assault/interpersonal violence.