Healthcare providers should include domestic violence questioning in all annual patient encounters as well as in those patient encounters that trigger this questioning. Repeated “accidents,” areas of bruising scattered throughout the patient’s body in various stages of healing, and an over-possessive partner who comes to every medical visit can be red flags for abuse. Although some populations are more at risk for abuse, including the pregnant, elder, and transgender populations, all patients, including males, should be questioned. Adult abuse patients can determine if they want definitive action taken within the criminal and legal system. For children in which there is reported abuse or there is suspected abuse, reporting is mandatory. Abuse not only affects the physical and mental health of the individual but also can lead to more serious medical morbidity and mortality consequences.
KeywordsDomestic violence Intimate partner violence Forms of abuse Clinical presentation Risk factors
- 1.Tjaden P, Thoennes N. National Institute of Justice and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, “extent, nature and consequences of intimate partner violence: findings from the national violence against women survey. 2000.Google Scholar
- 3.National coalition against domestic violence. Domestic violence facts. 2007. Available at www.ncadv.org.
- 4.The National Center for victims of Crime. Washington, DC; 2010. Available at www.ncvc.org.
- 5.Action on Elder Abuse. South London, UK; 2006. Available at www.elderabuse.org.uk.
- 6.Intimate partner violence and domestic violence. Special Issues in Womens Health. Washington, DC: ACOG; 2005.Google Scholar
- 7.Understanding Intimate Partner Violence – fact sheet. 2009. Available at www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention.
- 8.Tjaden P, Thoennes N. Full report of the prevalence, incidence, and consequences of violence against women; findings from the national violence against women survey. Criminologist. 1999;24(3):1,4, 13–14.Google Scholar
- 9.Dept of Justice, Bureau of justice statistics. Homicide trends in the United States. 2007. Available at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/homicide/tables/intimatestab.htm.
- 10.Scott CK, Schoene, Joseph S, et al. Health concerns across a women’s lifespan: the Commonwealth Fund 1998 survey of Women’s health. Available at http://www.cmwf.org/usr_doc/HealthConcerns_surveyreport.pdf.
- 11.Intimate Partner Violence: Consequences. CDC; 2003. Available at www.cdc.govNiolencePrevention/intimatepartner violence/consequences.html.
- 12.Screening tools – domestic violence. ACOG; 2009. Available at email@example.com.Google Scholar
- 17.Cognitive behavioral therapy for men who physically abuse their female partner. Cochrane Libr. 2009:4.Google Scholar
- 18.Isaac NE, Enos VP. Documenting domestic violence: how health care providers can help victims, National Institute of Justice, research in brief. 188564. 2001. Available at www.ncjrs.gov.