Effects on Victim

Loss of appetite, eating disorders

Weight loss

Gastrointestinal disorders


Nervous, Anxious

Bruises, broken bones





Mistrust of self & others

Feelings of worthlessness, low self-esteem

Central nervous system disorders

Sadness, Depression





Post Traumatic Stress Disorder




Emotional numbing



Avoidance of traumatic triggers and talking about the problem

Feeling detached and estranged

Explosive or inhibited anger


Sense of being different from others

Attribute total power to perpetrator or become preoccupied with relationship to them, including preoccupation with revenge

Isolation, distrust, or repeated search for a rescuer

Sense of hopelessness and despair

Substance abuse

Self-mutilation, self-harm

Battered Women’s Syndrome

  1. Believe violence is their fault.
  2. Inability to place responsibility for violence elsewhere.
  3. Fears for her life and/or children’s lives.
  4. Irrational belief that abuser is omnipresent and omniscient.

Adapted from: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, National Center for PTSD

The psychological effects on the victim are devastating. They are truly brainwashed through mind control and manipulation. They are made to believe that everything is their fault; they feel worthless; they believe they are not a good person; and they feel no one else will ever be interested in them. They have difficulty knowing who to trust due to the isolation created by the abuser. The abuser continually puts down the victim’s family and friends and tells the victim they are the only one who really cares about them. Gradually the victim becomes very angry, usually not recognizing the source of their anger and they displace that anger on their family and friends. They become extremely confused and do not know who to trust. Together with the fear instilled in them by the abuser (by breaking their possessions, battering them, threatening to kill them and/or their families, calling them the worst names) they become psychologically destroyed.