When love hurts
“The first time my husband hit me I was nineteen years old.” Ozge Tuncalp and Susan Richman explore medical professionals' roles in managing domestic violence
An adolescent sitting happily with friends at a cafe across the street; a mother pregnant with her second child; a medical student studying in the library; a barmaid working in a club-different as they may be, they're all similar when it comes to domestic violence. Victims of domestic violence are found among women of all ages, socioeconomic classes, and ethnic groups.
Physicians and medical students themselves are as likely to experience domestic violence as the general population.2 Although once closeted, domestic violence is widely accepted as a considerable health problem today. Home, often perceived (perhaps idealistically) as a safe haven, is where violence in society is commonly found.
So how do we define domestic violence? It is the intentional controlling or violent behaviour by a person who is or was in an intimate relationship with the victim. The controlling behaviour may include physical abuse, sexual assault, emotional abuse, economic control,