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The month of May is observed as Mental Health Awareness month. Are you aware that there’s a connection between mental health and domestic violence?According to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office on Women’s Health, “Violence against women can cause long-term physical and mental health problems. Violence and abuse affect not just the women involved but also their children, families and communities. These effects include harm to an individual’s health, possibly long-term harm to children, and harm to communities such as lost work and homelessness.”The personal, long-term effects can include Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, substance abuse and anxiety. In addition, the social and financial ramifications include loss of income, homelessness, fear of losing custody, etc.To learn more about the effects, please visit the HHS website at Womenshealth.gov.If you are a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault, please contact the trained, local service providers listed on the AVAW webpages or national advocates such as the National Sexual Assault Hotline over the phone at 800-656-HOPE (4673).