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ARTICLE |

Domestic Violence Begets Other Problems of Which Physicians Must Be Aware to Be Effective

Teri Randall
JAMA. 1990;264(8):940-944. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450080022003.
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ABSTRACT

WOMEN LIVING in violent relationships pay a heavy price with their physical and mental health, and sometimes even their lives. Thirty-four percent of all female homicide victims older than 15 years are killed by their husbands or intimate partners, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation homicide data from 1976 to 1987.

Besides the acute injuries incurred from their battering relationships, these women also develop a broad range of physical illnesses and psychological problems. Typically, as the battering escalates, so do their feelings of profound isolation from the institutions and resources—including medicine—that presumably could help them.

Historically, most physicians treated the physical injuries that are a result of domestic violence and did not address their cause, that is, the patient's abusive relationship (Gender and Society. 1989;3:506-517; Int J Health Serv. 1979;9:461-492 [see p 939]).

"Physicians will often say, 'I'm not a law enforcement officer, and I'm not a social worker. I'm

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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