Domestic Violence

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Domestic violence, defined as abuse involving intimate partners, is a growing problem in the United States.Most victims are women in heterosexual relationships. Frequently, the violence is a combination of physical, sexual, and psychologic abuse that occurs in a cyclic and intensifying pattern that can ultimately result in serious assaults with weapons or even death. The signs and symptoms may be obvious injuries or subtle chronic complaints that are often related to stress. Increased awareness of domestic violence and routine inclusion of some screening questions in the medical history can facilitate detection and prevent further injury to a patient or her children. Providing nonjudgmental support and information about legal and social services to the victim in a confidential manner are the keys to intervention.Mayo Clin Proc 1998;73271-274

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