People with mental health problems
Domestic abuse and sexual violence can have a huge impact on a victim’s mental health. Abuse can be the main cause of mental health problems, including: depression, anxiety, self-harm, eating disorders and suicide. The perpetrator may tell the victim that they are ‘mad’ and try to get their doctor to prescribe anti-depressants or other medication.
The perpetrator may then use mental ill health to control the victim by saying they are not capable of caring for themselves or their children. They may threaten to take the children or to report them to Children’s Social Care. They become the carer of the victim and may withhold medication or insist on being with them at all times – which can make it impossible to disclose the abuse or to escape the relationship.
The perpetrator may deliberately try to confuse the victim and make them feel disorientated. This can include moving or hiding things, saying things and then denying it or saying events didn’t happen.
For anyone who did already have mental health problems this type of abuse is likely to intensify and increase it.
If you have mental health problems and think you are being abused please seek help – GET HELP NOW.
If you are worried about someone else please see our HELP A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER section.
If you are worried you are abusing someone please seek help – ADVICE FOR PERPETRATORS.