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Laws Mandating Reporting of Domestic Violence Do They Promote Patient Well-being?

Ariella Hyman, JD; Dean Schillinger, MD; Bernard Lo, MD
JAMA. 1995;273(22):1781-1787. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520460063037.
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DOMESTIC violence is increasingly recognized as a major public health problem, affecting individuals of all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Domestic violence has been defined as a pattern of coercive control consisting of physical, sexual, and/or psychological assaults against current or former intimate partners.1 Batterers also commonly use economic abuse, isolation, and intimidation to exert power over their partners. This article often refers to the battering of women, since 90% to 95% of domestic violence victims are women.2 Domestic violence also can occur against men and in homosexual as well as heterosexual relationships.3,4

Approximately 4 million women are believed to be battered every year by their partners.5 At least one fifth of all women will be physically assaulted by a partner or ex-partner during their lifetime.6 Domestic violence is believed to be the most common cause of serious injury to women7 and accounts for more


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