It is estimated 4-8 million women are subject to battering each year.
Men reports of physical abuse by female partners are below national statistics as compared to females and injuries inflicted by women on men, are not considered a significant public health or medical problem.
Homicide is the #1 killer of pregnant and post partum (1) women.
Most alarming is that about 955 of cases presented in health care settings were not identified as such.
JAMA March 2001 editorial argued that all health care professionals must do a better job in all settings to recognize and provide appropriate treatment to victims of domestic or intimate partner violence.
Do not insist that the battered woman terminate the relationship
Remember, due to the barriers discussed above, it will usually take multiple attempts at leaving the domestic violence situation before a survivor succeeds in resisting the batterer’s pressure to return.
Treating patients who are in domestic violence situations is a necessary part of health care.
Given the high number of incidents related to domestic violence that go unrecognized in the health care system, it is imperative that health care providers become part of the solution rather than part of the problem.
Create increased awareness not only among health care providers, but all support personnel.
It is a team effort to work with the victims as you treat their injuries, supportively listen to their stories, and educate them on the options available to them. This is how you collectively build a bridge out of their isolation.