Abuse harms women in later life

Childhood sex abuse and adult violence were both linked with poorer general health and bodily pain, according to data from 7700 women participating in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health.

“The number one thing is to trust your gut instinct as a GP,” lead author Associate Professor Jan Coles, a GP academic at Monash University’s School of Primary Health Care, said.

“If it crosses your mind that this is happening to a patient, then it is something you should ask,” she said, noting that questions like ‘Have you ever been frightened at home?’ or ‘When you were a kid, were you ever frightened at home?’ were non-confrontational ways of getting the patient to open up.

Child sexual abuse was associated with a 30% greater likelihood of having poorer general health and 40% greater likelihood of experiencing bodily pain and depression, the study found.

Those who also