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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006 Nov;1087:235-49.

Violence against women as a public health issue.

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Department of Psychology, Connecticut College, New London, CT 06320, USA.


Violence can be considered "infectious" in rape-prone cultures that celebrate violence and domination. The number of annual injuries and deaths due to violence against women and girls is high enough to demand the type of active interventions and public policies that have been targeted at infectious diseases by public health agencies. In this article, we review data on the physical and mental health effects that violence has on victims of domestic violence, rape, stalking, and sexual harassment. We also focus on the economic costs to the health care system, business and industry, families, and the broader society that accrue as a result of the widespread violence against women and girls. Victims' suffering can never be accounted for by economic data, but those data may be helpful in pushing governments to allocate funds and agencies to take preventive actions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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