PTSD, depression, and anxiety among Palestinian women victims of domestic violence in the Gaza Strip

Thabet, A. A., Tawahina, Ahmad Abu, Tischler, Victoria ORCID: and Vostanis, Panos (2015) PTSD, depression, and anxiety among Palestinian women victims of domestic violence in the Gaza Strip. British Journal of Education, Society & Behavioural Science, 11 (2). ISSN 2278-0998

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Background: Domestic violence is a universal phenomenon which affects all family members and specially children and women. Common reactions to domestic violence are post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety.
Aims: The aim of this study is to find type and severity of domestic violence against Palestinian women in the Gaza Strip, and to investigate whether it is associated with mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety.
Methods: The study sample included 622 Palestinian women randomly selected from the five areas of the Gaza Strip aged from 18 to 50 years (mean age = 31.5 years). They were interviewed using questionnaires including Sociodemogrophic variables, Conflicts Tactics Scale, post-traumatic stress disorder scale, Beck Depression Inventory, Taylor manifestation Anxiety Scale.
Results: The study showed that psychological assault was 56.91%, physical assault 37.3%, physical injury 12.06%, and sexual assault was 7.14%.
The study showed that domestic violence was significantly higher in women living in villages than in cities or camps. Also, women living in villages experienced more psychological abuse than women living in cities or camps.
The study showed that 71 women (11.4%) had been diagnosed as post-traumatic stress disorder, 15% had moderate to severe depression, and 29.9% had very severe anxiety.
The study showed that psychological assault toward women was positively correlated to depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Also, there were significant positive relationships between physical assault and depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress symptoms. Physical injury and sexual assault were significantly positively related to post traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety.
Conclusion: The study showed that one third Palestinian women exposed to physical violence and half of them exposed to psychological violence which lead to post-traumatic stress disorder depression, and anxiety. So, a great need for more programs for women victims of domestic violence in Palestinian society are needed with well trained professionals in the field of psychological support and therapy. More specific programs should be established in Gaza to enable women of using new coping strategies with difficulties. Also, training programs including primary health care professional such physicians, nurses, social service experts, and midwives should be provide to enable them of early detection of victims of violence and provide social support to these women.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.9734/BJESBS/2015/18960
Additional Information: © 2015 Thabet et al.; This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Anxiety; depression; domestic violence; Palestinian women; PTSD.
Subjects: Medicine and health > Mental health
Medicine and health
Depositing User: Victoria Tischler
Date Deposited: 09 May 2017 12:49
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 15:52


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