Health Questions and Answers

Question: What are some of the structural and system barriers that might prevent a woman from disclosing abuse?

Answer:

Lack of privacy is a real concern in the Emergency Room. Women should be interviewed alone, without children or partners present. If necessary, hospital security may be recruited to ensure her safety. Also, family members or children should not be used as translators when inquiring about abuse.

Reference: Abbott J: Assault-related injuries: What do we know, and what should we do about it? Ann Emerg Med 32:363-366, 1998.

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