Health Questions and Answers

Question: Isn’t domestic violence more of a law enforcement issue than it is a health issue?

Answer:

No. Research shows that 50% of all women presenting to Emergency Departments for care have experienced abuse from an intimate partner or ex-partner at some point in her life and that 30% of women have experienced domestic violence within the past year. Injuries and illnesses caused by abuse affect their lives more frequently than diseases such as hypertension, cancer, or diabetes. Interpersonal violence has tremendous health implications in the United States.

Reference: Abbott J, Johnson R, Koziol-McLain J, et al: Domestic violence against women: Incidence and prevalence in an emergency department population. JAMA 273:1763-1767, 1995.

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