An excellent article in the November 2013 issue of More Magazine reported that 25% of all women are victims of domestic violence. Two million women are injured annually by domestic violence, 25% require medical care, and 1300 die! Sixty percent of those going to emergency rooms are strangled and one in three lost consciousness.
MDs and dentists generally do not consider domestic violence and only 27% of cases are screened and only 24% are asked during an exam about domestic violence as a possible cause for their injuries.
The effects of chronic stress are profound and lead to prolonged levels of stress hormones that include cortisol, adrenalin, and nor-adrenalin that are responsible for a panopoly of chronic illnesses that include osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart attacks, strokes, and even changes in DNA! A study at UCSF showed that the ends of chromosomes, called telomeres, are shorten in this disease and lead to premature aging and shortened life span.
Obviously it is important that elementary and high schools include courses on domestic violence if we're going to reduce the incidence of this terrible problem.