Domestic abuse victims have an increased risk of suffering mental health issues

Following a recent study, Somerset County Council is urging people who are experiencing domestic abuse to seek their help to free themselves from abuse and so limit the long-term health effects that it may cause.

The research, which was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, was carried out by researchers from Birmingham University. It found that women who had been abused by a partner are three times more likely to suffer conditions such as depression, and anxiety and in some cases even severe conditions such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder than other women.

Some 1.2 million women and 700,000 men experience domestic violence each year, according to the Office for National Statistics.

If you are experiencing domestic abuse, worried about someone you know, or are concerned about the impact of your behaviour towards others, then help is available: www.somersetsurvivors.org.uk or by telephoning 0800 69 49 999.

In an emergency you should always dial 999, if you are unable to speak for fear of being overheard you can press 55 and operator will send help.

If you need emotional support, you can call Mindline on 01823 276 892 which provides a confidential listening service.