Depression and Suicide Risk in Domestic Abuse Victims

By Laurie Winslow Sargent:

If you are being physically and/or emotionally abused, suicide may seem a way to end your pain and suffering. Instead, reach out for help and LIVE. You are worth it.


If you are being abused, instead of giving up on life, accept help. (Image from

I was glad to find online an excellent page on depression and suicide risk in domestic abuse victims by Kevin Caruso, titled: Domestic Violence and Suicide. There he states that one out of four women experiencing domestic abuse attempt suicide, a sobering statistic.

He also describes how this can happen:

“The horrible crime of domestic violence often results in a woman isolating herself and becoming clinically depressed. ” He also states on his website:  “Many women feel trapped and powerless, and do not receive treatment for their depression, and thus believe that suicide is the only way out.”

Caruso said this well. In my former volunteer work for eight years with a crisis support network, I counseled women who had been abused and sought safety in our shelters.  I could see how psychological abuse and controlling behavior had stripped many of these women of self-confidence.

They’d been told many times they were worthless, stupid, and couldn’t get along in life without the abuser. Even after leaving violent situations to protect their lives, some had much trouble at first believing they could survive on their own and found it difficult to overcome feelings of helplessness. But with encouragement they felt their self-confidence grow.

if you have been abused and beaten down physically and/or emotionally, there are people willing to help you get back on your feet and help you see that you can LIVE free from abuse. Don’t let an abuser persuade you that there is no hope for you!

For a listening ear and to find local services, including the nearest shelter, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233)  TTY:  1-800-787-3224. You can also visit ,which includes the  page, Am I Being Abused?

Kevin Caruso, at (Our site is dot com:, ends his page about suicide risk for domestic abuse victims with these wise words:

Remember that there is never an excuse for domestic violence. Never.

You deserve a better life.

You are a great person.

Take care of yourself.

Also do remember that children who witness or experience abuse also can feel powerless and depressed and at risk for suicide. Also, children of parents who take their own lives often consider taking their own. If you have children, protect your own life, and protect theirs by getting help.

Instead of choosing death, choose new life, a life free from abuse. There are good people out there, people who won’t beat you down with fists or words. There is hope.

See this excellent and critically important video by Karen McAndless-Davis, author of When Love Hurts, to help understand the domestic violence cycle of abuse, and how abuse escalates. It points out how crazy-making it can be to live with someone who, unpredictably, “one day is kind and affectionate, and the next day cruel and malicious”. This also addresses (around the 12-minute mark) the common question, “Why do women stay?”

Does Abuse Have a Pattern? The Cycle of Abuse: