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Integrating Routine Inquiry about Domestic Violence into Daily Practice

Carole Warshaw, MD; and Elaine Alpert, MD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

Cook County Hospital; Chicago, IL 60612 (Warshaw) Boston University School of Public Health; Boston, MA 02118 (Alpert)

Requests for Reprints: Carole Warshaw, MD, Cook County Hospital, Division of General Medicine, 1900 West Polk Street, Chicago, IL 60612. For reprint orders in quantities exceeding 100, contact the Reprints Coordinator; phone, 215-351-2657; e-mail, reprints@mail.acponline.org.

Current Author Addresses: Dr. Warshaw: Cook County Hospital, Division of General Medicine, 1900 West Polk Street, Chicago, IL 60612.

Dr. Alpert: Boston University Medical School, 715 Albany Street, T-2w, Boston, MA 02118.

Ann Intern Med. 1999;131(8):619-620. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-131-8-199910190-00012
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Domestic violence terrorizes the lives and damages the health of millions of women each year (12). Studies indicate that 21% to 54% of women seen in emergency departments or primary care clinics have reported physical or emotional abuse by a partner in adulthood and at least one in three have experienced some form of abuse during their lives (35). Research over the past two decades has continued to document the profound effects of domestic violence on women's health (610). For many victims, the health care setting is the only place they will seek help, and health care providers play a critical role in creating a safe atmosphere for patients to discuss the abuse that they have experienced.

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