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Profil clinique et psychopathologique des femmes victimes de violences conjugales psychologiques

Abstract : Background. Partner violence is a serious public health problem, due to their potential short-, medium-or long-term physical and psychological consequences. Violence is unbearable when it occurs between family members, and often remains unrevealed, invisible, hidden and repeated. The woman possibly feels trapped in a relationship of imprisonment. International studies have well-explored the psychopathological aspects of physical and sexual abuse within couples, but few explored the clinical profile of women victims of psychological violence or moral harassment. This study aims to define the clinical and psychopathological profile of women who are victims of psychological intimate partner violence. Methods. We contacted 628 women who consulted consecutively at the emergency ward of a university hospital covering a 300 000 catchment's area. The telephone screening of psychological violence was therefore carried out using the WEB questionnaire (Women's Experience with Battering) (n=226). An optional clinical interview was given to the women declaring themselves as victims of psychological intimate partner violence (n=56), to evaluate the life events and the psychiatric disorders according to the DSM-IV. Finally, 43 participants (77%) gave their opinion on the qualitative aspects of the WEB questionnaire and their level of ease with this report. Results. In 63% (n=35) of the cases, the victims and their partners had a rather high socio-professional level. Women refer to emergency ward mostly for complaint of vague idiopathic pain (49%) or for psychiatric disorders (52%) with predominance of anxiety (28%) or addictive disorders (19%). The prevalence of potentially traumatic life events was found to be high in this group (83%). The traumatic psychological intimate partner violence was associated with a heightened prevalence of psychiatric comorbidities, like anxiety (72%), depression (100%), posttraumatic stress disorder (100%), and addiction to alcohol (100%) or another psychoactive substance (50%). Finally, 44% of the women linked their gyneco-obstetrical history to their psychological state of the relationship. Conclusion. Even if the psychopathological profile is relatively close, the socio-demographic profile of victims of psychological intimate partner violence is singularly different than that of the victims of physical or sexual abuse. This work underlines the necessity of a systematic screening of these aspects of violence in emergency medical services.
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C. Lamy, F. Dubois, N. Jaafari, T. Carl, P. Gaillard, et al.. Profil clinique et psychopathologique des femmes victimes de violences conjugales psychologiques. Epidemiology and Public Health / Revue d'Epidémiologie et de Santé Publique, Elsevier Masson, 2009, 57 (4), pp.267-274. ⟨10.1016/j.respe.2009.04.007⟩. ⟨hal-02526598⟩

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