Domestic Abuse and Mental Health

Domestic Abuse can have a huge impact on the mental health of those experiencing it and can lead to life long issues, such as depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders. It may lead to sleep disturbances, self-harm, suicide and attempted suicide, eating disorders and substance misuse, amongst others.

If a mental health disorder has been diagnosed, it is less likely that a victim/survivor of domestic abuse will disclose. The sense of shame that someone might feel on having a mental health diagnosis because of how society perceives mental ill-health adds to them feeling unable to speak out to someone else about what is happening to them.

Children experience domestic abuse too and living in an abusive household can have long term effects on the developmental, emotional and physical well-being of children.

People from black & minority ethnic groups, people with disabilities or those identifying as LGBTQ may experience additional problems if they have mental ill-health, which can be used to further abuse and harm them.

A mental health diagnosis can be misused by an abusive partner. They might:

  • Question their parenting ability
  • Undermining the victim/survivor’s ability to work, study, drive or manage finances
  • Making the victim/survivor feel as though they are going mad
  • Telling others that they can speak on behalf of the victim/survivor
  • Encouraging others not to believe the victim/survivor

If you are experiencing domestic abuse, please talk to someone that you trust.

If you have a mental health diagnosis, or if you experience anxiety, depression or have ever considered taking your own life; please talk to someone.

If you or someone you know are in mental health crisis, consider calling an ambulance on 999. The NHS website also provides guidance for mental health, including if you are in crisis.

Other resources:

Please visit the Get Help pages on this website to find other services that offer a wide range of support if you are experiencing domestic abuse.