Domestic violence, health and health care: Women's accounts of their experiences
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The current health service response to women's domestic violence related health issues seeks to categorise their presenting symptoms into physical and psychological ailments This gives a narrow and somewhat simplistic focus to what is a complex phenomenon and may obscure women's experiences and limit the opportunities to provide proactive health care.The purpose of this study was to expand knowledge about the health issues of women who are subjected to domestic violence, by affording primacy to women's accounts of health, in order to problematise current services and establish a more woman-centered underpinning for healthcare.The study involved narrative analysis of nine interviews with women who spoke about their health and health issues while they lived with domestic violence. Findings revealed that health was complex, and that health issues were not adequately addressed by health services, in fact health care responses were implicated in further adversely affecting the health of participants. These findings illuminate patterns that underlie individual realities of health and give a foundation from which current services can be evaluated and further developed in ways that may be more sensitive to women's realities and needs.