Study aims to drive fight against domestic violence and child abuse trauma in Wandsworth

Research carried out in Wandsworth has shown that a large number of mental health service users have been exposed to violence or abuse throughout their lives.

The study, conducted by Dr Nadia Mantovani and Dr Ruth Allen has considered the need for the mental health services to deal with the suffering caused by domestic violence to their patients.

The statistics help shed light on the abuse that mental health service users have been subjected to throughout their lives.

Tom Coffey, Chair of Wandsworth CCG, said: “This important and detailed study provides excellent information about the scale of domestic violence and child abuse trauma amongst women and men using mental health services.

“We are taking action to start to improve this within the Trust and in partnership with the many agencies and individuals committed to tacking the problem across the Borough.”

The study sampled past experiences of 342 women and men using South West London and St George’s Mental Health Trust.

Among the key information gathered was that women receiving treatment were far more likely to have experienced some type of violence or abuse in their life, especially when it comes to abuse of a sexual or psychological nature.

Participants in the study who were of a white ethnicity were far more likely to have a recorded incidence of child abuse than other ethnic clusters.

Dr Mantovani and Dr Ruth Allen’s work also showeed that people who suffered with mental health difficulties are more likely to be at risk of further exploitation and abuse in the future.

Also highlighted in the study were the barriers for people in abusive relationships to access the support that they so desperately need, and a lack of response from GP’s, mental health staff and support groups meaning that people are turning to drugs and alcohol to alleviate their problems.

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