Domestic Abuse Victims Not Receiving Mental Health

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COLUMBIA - A new study by an MU researcher has found that more than half of women who experience domestic abuse suffer from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression but most do not receive mental health services.

But the study by Dr. Mansoo Yu, an assistant professor of social work in the College of Human Environmental Sciences, did find that most women did see their family care doctor regulary. Therefore, Yu said family doctors are in a unique position to help refer domestic abuse survivors to mental health providers.

 "These survivors might not seek help from mental health professionals because of social stigma, lack of information,... health care costs," Yu said.

He added abused women also often have trouble obtaining housing and legal services.

Yu, along with researchers from Washington University and University of Louisville, studied rates of PTSD, depression, and substance abuse among 50 women in St. Louis.