II. Epidemiology

  1. Incidence: 20-39% of women in primary care clinics
    1. 78% of women approve of Domestic Violence Screening
    2. Only 5% of women had been asked about Domestic Violence
    3. Bradley (2002) BMJ 324:271-4 [PubMed]
  2. Rates of Violence against men has increased to match women
    1. Women's injuries tend to be more severe

IV. Screening

  1. Background
    1. Most Battered Women require 7 episodes on average to leave a relationship
    2. Vigilent and systematic screening can result in providing patients with the intervention at the right time to spare further injury or death
  2. See Intimate Partner Violence Screening
  3. SAFE Screen for Intimate Partner Violence
  4. HITS Screen for Intimate Partner Violence
  5. Women Abuse Screening Tool (WAST, WAST-SF)
  6. Partner Violence Screen
  7. Example scripts
    1. Excuse others in room with "I have a few quick questions I ask all patients and then I will let you back into the room"
    2. With the patient alone, "I have a few brief questions I ask everyone because Violence against women is common and serious."
    3. "The injuries you have do not seem to match the story. Can you tell me how this happened?"
    4. "Has anyone hit, kicked or punched you in the last year?"

VI. Signs

  1. Multiple injury sites in variable states of healing
  2. Injuries inconsistent with stated Mechanism
  3. Delayed presentation for injuries
  4. Contusions, abrasions, burns or Lacerations (especially in areas hidden by clothes)
  5. Self-abuse or self-blame for injuries
  6. Tympanic Membrane Perforation
  7. Frequent emergency department or acute clinic appointment visits
  8. Frequently missed appointments
  9. Partner present for appointment and controls visit
  10. Comorbid associated conditions, especially related to mental health (see below)
  11. Most common sites of injury in Battered Women
    1. Head, face and neck
    2. Chest
    3. Abdomen
    4. Muellman (1996) Ann Emerg Med 28(5):486-92 [PubMed]

VIII. Precautions: High risk situations for serious injury or lethality

  1. Recent escalation in Violence
  2. Available weapons
  3. Threats of serious harm or homicidality
  4. Chemical Dependency
  5. Strangulation Injury
  6. Significant fear on part of abused partner

IX. Management: (Mnemonic: SOS-DoC Intervention)

  1. Support and safety offered
    1. Talk in private offering good eye contact and emphasizing confidentiality
      1. "I'm sorry this has happened. No person deserves to be abused..."
      2. Exceptions to confidentiality
        1. Suicidality or homicidality
        2. Mandatory reporting states (see below)
    2. Identify high risk for serious harm or lethality (see precautions above)
      1. "Are you and your children safe at home in the near future?"
  2. Options including safety planning and follow-up
    1. Discuss restraining orders, 911, shelters, resources
    2. "Do you have an emergency plan in case you need to leave?"
      1. Plan should include safe place, money, clothes, important papers
      2. Keep an adequate amount of money separate
      3. Notify a close friend
  3. Strength of patient is validated
    1. Strength to withstand circumstances and courage to make the needed changes for patient and their children's safety
  4. Document observations, assessment and plan
    1. Careful doumentation of history, exam, potential abuse, level of safety, and overall plan
  5. Continuity offered
    1. Discuss clinic and resource follow-up and eliminate barriers for access
  6. References
    1. Ambuel (1998) J Aggress Maltreat Trauma 1(2): 55-81 [PubMed]
    2. Cronholm (2011) Am Fam Physician 83(10): 1165-72 [PubMed]

X. Management: Mandatory Reporting

  1. Mandatory reporting varies by state in the U.S.
    1. In Minnesota, the state requires reporting abuse of minors and vulnerable adults
    2. In California, health care providers are mandated to report to police injuries due to Partner Violence
  2. Example script regarding mandatory reporting
    1. "I am going to do my best to ensure your safety and involve social work, but I am also mandated by law to report this to the police"

XI. Resources

  1. National Domestic Violence Hotline
    1. http://www.thehotline.org
    2. Phone: 1-800-799-7233 (1-800-799-SAFE)
  2. National Sexual Assault Online Hotline
    1. http://www.rainn.org/get-help/national-sexual-assault-hotline
    2. Phone: 1-800-656-4673 (1-800-656-HOPE)

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Ontology: Spousal Abuse (C0038044)

Definition (MSH) Deliberate severe and repeated injury to one domestic partner by the other.
Definition (CSP) repeated deliberate injury inflicted by one spouse on the other.
Concepts Mental or Behavioral Dysfunction (T048)
MSH D013179
SnomedCT 78077007
English Spouse Abuse, Abuse, Spouse, spouse abuse, Abuse, Spousal, Spousal abuser, Spousal Abuse, battered spouse syndrome, abuse spouse, spousal abuse, abuse spousal, Battered spouse syndrome, Spousal abuse, Spouse abuse, Battered spouse syndrome (finding), battered; spouse syndrome, spouse syndrome; battered, syndrome; battered spouse
Italian Violenza sul coniuge, Persona che abusa del coniuge, Violenza coniugale
Japanese 配偶者の虐待, ハイグウシャノギャクタイ, 配偶者虐待者, ハイグウシャギャクタイシャ, 虐待-妻, 虐待-配偶者, 配偶者虐待, 妻虐待
Swedish Partnermisshandel
Czech manželský partner - zneužití, Osoba týrající manžela/manželku, Partnerské zneužití
Spanish Maltratador del cónyuge, abuso del cónyuge, síndrome del cónyuge apaleado, síndrome del cónyuge golpeado (hallazgo), síndrome del cónyuge golpeado, Abuso del cónyuge, Maltrato Conyugal
Dutch spousal misbruiker, battered; spouse syndrome, spouse syndrome; battered, syndroom; battered spouse, huwelijksmisbruik, Mishandeling van de huwelijkspartner
Portuguese Violência conjugal, Maus-Tratos à Companheira, Maus-Tratos à Parceira, Maus-Tratos ao Companheiro, Abuso do cônjuge, Maus-Tratos Conjugais
German Partnermissbrauch, Misshandlung durch Ehepartner, Mißhandlung des Ehepartners
Finnish Puolisoon kohdistuva väkivalta
Russian ZHESTOKOE OBRASHCHENIE S SUPRUGOM, SUPRUGOI, ЖЕСТОКОЕ ОБРАЩЕНИЕ С СУПРУГОМ, СУПРУГОЙ
French Violence époux-épouse, Violence dans le couple, Violence conjugale, Maltraitance entre époux, Violence entre conjoints, Abuseur conjugal, Abus du conjoint(e)
Polish Przemoc wobec partnera, Znęcanie się nad małżonkiem, Przemoc w małżeństwie, Przemoc wobec małżonka
Hungarian Házastársat bántalmazó, Házastársi abúzus
Norwegian Mishandling av ektemake, Ektemakemishandling

Ontology: Domestic Violence (C0206073)

Definition (MEDLINEPLUS)

Domestic violence is a type of abuse. It usually involves a spouse or partner, but it can also be a child, elderly relative, or other family member.

Domestic violence may include

  • Physical violence that can lead to injuries such as bruises or broken bones
  • Sexual violence
  • Threats of physical or sexual violence
  • Emotional abuse that may lead to depression, anxiety, or social isolation

It is hard to know exactly how common domestic violence is, because people often don't report it. There is no typical victim. It happens among people of all ages. It affects those of all levels of income and education.

The first step in getting help is to tell someone you trust.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Definition (MSH) Deliberate, often repetitive, physical abuse by one family member against another: marital partners, parents, children, siblings, or any other member of a household.
Definition (CSP) deliberate, often repetitive, physical abuse by one family member against another: marital partners, parents, children, siblings, or any other member of a household; covers abuse of cohabiting partners (homo and heterosexual).
Concepts Mental or Behavioral Dysfunction (T048)
MSH D017579
SnomedCT 404189009
English Violence, Domestic, Domestic Violence, domestic violence, Domestic violence, Domestic violence (finding), Domestic violence (event)
Spanish violencia conyugal (evento), Violencia Doméstica, violencia conyugal (hallazgo), violencia conyugal
Swedish Våld i hemmet
Finnish Perheväkivalta
Russian SEM'IA, ZHESTOKOE OBRASHCHENIE, ZHESTOKIE OTNOSHENIIA V SEM'E, НАСИЛИЕ СЕМЕЙНОЕ, NASILIE SEMEINOE, НАСИЛИЕ БЫТОВОЕ, NASILIE BYTOVOE, ЖЕСТОКИЕ ОТНОШЕНИЯ В СЕМЬЕ, СЕМЬЯ, ЖЕСТОКОЕ ОБРАЩЕНИЕ
Croatian NASILJE U OBITELJI
French Violence domestique
Czech domácí násilí, násilí v domácnosti
Polish Przemoc w domu, Przemoc w rodzinie
Norwegian Vold i hjemmet
German Häusliche Gewalt
Italian Violenza domestica
Dutch Geweld binnen het gezin, Huiselijk geweld
Portuguese Violência Doméstica

Ontology: Battered Women (C0242810)

Definition (MSH) Women who are physically and mentally abused over an extended period, usually by a husband or other dominant male figure. Characteristics of the battered woman syndrome are helplessness, constant fear, and a perceived inability to escape. (From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 3d ed)
Concepts Patient or Disabled Group (T101)
MSH D018585
English Abused Woman, Abused Women, Battered Woman, Woman, Abused, Woman, Battered, Women, Abused, Women, Battered, battered women, battered womens, battering women, abused women, abusing women, battered woman, Abused women, Battered Women, Battered Females, Battered woman
Swedish Misshandlade kvinnor
Czech bité ženy
Finnish Pahoinpidellyt naiset
Italian Donne abusate, Donna maltrattata, Donna abusata, Donne maltrattate
Russian ZABITYE ZHENSHCHINY, ZHENSHCHINY ZABITYE, ZHENSHCHINY, ZHESTOKOE OBRASHCHENIE, ZHESTOKOE OBRASHCHENIE S ZHENSHCHINOI, ЖЕНЩИНЫ, ЖЕСТОКОЕ ОБРАЩЕНИЕ, ЖЕНЩИНЫ ЗАБИТЫЕ, ЖЕСТОКОЕ ОБРАЩЕНИЕ С ЖЕНЩИНОЙ, ЗАБИТЫЕ ЖЕНЩИНЫ
French Femmes battues, Femmes victimes de violence, Femmes victimes de mauvais traitements
Croatian ZLOSTAVLJANE ŽENE
Polish Kobiety znieważane, Kobiety maltretowane, Przemoc wobec kobiety
Japanese 被虐待女性, 女性-被虐待, 被虐待婦人達
Norwegian Mishandlet kvinne, Voldsutsatt kvinne, Voldsutsatte kvinner, Mishandlede kvinner
German Frauen, mißbrauchte, Frauen, mißhandelte, Mißbrauchte Frauen, Mißhandelte Frauen
Dutch Misbruikte vrouwen, Mishandelde vrouw, Mishandelde vrouwen, Vrouwen, misbruikte, Vrouwen, mishandelde
Portuguese Mulheres Maltratadas, Mulheres Vítimas de Abuso, Mulheres Vítimas de Maus-Tratos
Spanish Mujeres Maltratadas, Mujeres Ultrajadas

Ontology: Domestic abuse (C0413318)

Concepts Mental or Behavioral Dysfunction (T048)
SnomedCT 242031004, 371772001
Spanish violencia doméstica (evento), violencia doméstica (hallazgo), maltrato doméstico (trastorno), maltrato doméstico, violencia familiar, violencia doméstica
English domestic abuse, abuse domestic, Domestic abuse (disorder), Domestic abuse, Domestic ill-treatment, Domestic abuse (finding), Domestic abuse (event)

Ontology: Partner Abuse (C0413329)

Definition (PSY) Includes married and unmarried persons.
Concepts Individual Behavior (T055)
MSH D013179
SnomedCT 242039002
English Abuse, Partner, partner abuse, abuse partners, Partner abuse, Abuse of partner, Partner Abuse, Abuse of partner (finding), Abuse of partner (event)
Spanish maltrato de la pareja (evento), maltrato de la pareja (hallazgo), Abuso de la Pareja, abuso de la pareja (hallazgo), abuso de la pareja, abuso físico de la pareja, maltrato de la pareja
Portuguese Maus-Tratos ao Parceiro
German Mißhandlung des Partners
Italian Violenza sul partner
French Violence du partenaire, Violence de la compagne, Violence du compagnon, Violence de la partenaire
Czech zneužití partnerem, zneužití partnera
Norwegian Mishandling av partner, Partnervold
Dutch Mishandeling van de partner