Health Questions and Answers

Question: What clues may be present on physical examination in a victim of Intimate partner violence (IPV)?

Answer:

Common injury patterns include injuries to the face, neck and throat (especially signs or symptoms of strangulation), chest, breasts, abdomen, and genitals. Any injury that does not fit” with the history obtained should create suspicion of abuse. Other physical examination findings of concern include evidence of sexual assault or frequent, recurrent sexually transmitted diseases.

Reference: Koziol-McLain J, Coates CJ, Lowenstein SR: Predictive validity of a screen for partner violence against women. Am J Prev Med 21:93-100, 2001.

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