The psychological ill effects of being in an abusive relationship can last for years after the relationship has finished. Researchers from Ohio State University studied 2,400 mothers over three years. Some were in relationships where there was no abuse, others were in controlling relationships (where there was no violence but where fathers were extremely critical and insulting and controlled women's actions) while others were in physically-violent relationships. Both those who stayed in violent and controlling relationships and those who left them showed significantly greater increases in depression and anxiety although abused women who had the support of friends and family did not suffer quite as much. The researchers pointed out that even after leaving their partners the abused women still saw them as they attempted to reach custody agreements with them. Of the abused women who had left their partners about half talked to, or saw them once a week. Only about a quarter were in contact with the father a few times a year or less.
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