Domestic violence can continue after the relationship ends, if the couple has children together, a new study has found.
The study, from the University of Oslo in Norway, also found that children are more harmed by witnessing violence between their parents than previously thought.
“Our analysis shows that violence by an intimate partner lasts longer for women who have children,” the researchers said.
“And children who witness physical violence between their parents are at greater risk of ending up in violent relationships.”
Those who were sexually abused as children by their parents were 25 times more likely to be in a violent relationship as adults, the study found.
Interviewing almost 200 women, the researchers found that being a mother had no significance on the severity of violence, the type of injury sustained, the frequency of the violent episodes or whether the violence was perceived as life-threatening.
They found that while physical violence decreased during pregnancy, the frequency of psychological violence and sexual violence remained the same.
In terms of seeking help, the study found that if a death threat was involved the women would more than likely contact the police.
But if the women had serious physical injuries, they went to their family doctor.
The study also found that the impact of alcohol and drug intoxication on the occurrence of intimate partner violence was relatively small.
At least 75% of violent cases occurred when neither the perpetrator nor the victim was intoxicated.
“This means that even if we eradicate violence related to substance abuse, we are still left with at least three-quarters of the violent episodes,” the researchers added.
The study was published by the University of Oslo.
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