Researchers at the University of Newcastle have found women who experience domestic violence often face long-term physical and mental health problems.

Their study examined three generations of women over 16 years and found the health of women who had lived with a violent partner was significantly worse than those who hadn’t.

Professor of Public Health, Deborah Loxton says treatment for the health impacts of domestic violence often focuses on the initial stages of recovery.

“But implicit in that is once the violence has ended after a period of time, women will be doing ok so they will have recovered. What our data is showing is over a 16 year period there’s still a deficit in physical and mental health for women who’ve ever lived with a violent partner,” she said.

She says she hopes this research will help raise awareness among health providers about long-term health care.

“So that they may be able to see that some women have long-term health problems may actually have experienced abuse in the past and perhaps some mental health and stress that comes along with that is still impacting their health and wellbeing.

“So in terms of services, it would be very helpful to work out what would be helpful for these women who’ve experienced violence.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, you can ring the domestic violence hotline on 1800 656 463.