Scientific News & Reading Suggestions #11 – International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Suicide and intimate partner violence

What do we know about it?

  • Violence against women is a major public health problem and a violation of women’s human rights.
  • The greatest part are intimate partner violence.  
  • This problem may affect women’s physical and mental health.
  • In many cases violence can have fatal outcomes like homicide or suicide.

In the document “Understanding and addressing violence against women” WHO affirms that Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is one of the most common forms of violence against women and includes physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and controlling behaviours by an intimate partner.

Evidence suggests that women who are victims of IPV may develop depression, anxiety and phobias. In the WHO multi-country study, among other results, thoughts of suicide and attempted suicide were significantly higher among women who had experienced IPV.
Moreover IPV may be associated to cases of murder-suicide.

People who work in the field of mental health and suicide prevention
should not forget that signs of IPV may be a suicide warning signs.

When we meet patients who have been abused we may pay more attention to the violence instead of how helpless and hopeless violence makes them feel, and how this may leed to suicide attempt.


  • We should dedicate more resources to improve prevention of and response to violence. We could promote gender equality and support women who need or ask for help also raising awareness in the population talking about it. Specialists of mental health can play an important role in prevention, to address fully the consequences of violence and the needs of survivors.
  • In the page “Violence against women”  WHO suggests different strategies that may be used as primary prevention (eg: school-based programmes to prevent violence within dating relationships). 

You can find more to read on WHO website, at these links:

If you organize an initiative for the
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
contact us and we can share it on our website!

To know more, contact EPA- SSSP e-mail address:

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