Domestic violence experienced by women attending an accident and emergency department

Lucy Bates*, Selina Redman, Wendy Brown, Lynne Hancock

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: The aim of the study was to establish the extent and severity of domestic violence experienced by women attending the accident and emergency department of a large teaching hospital in Newcastle. The data were collected over a five‐week period in 1992. All women between 17 and 80 years, attending the emergency or ambulatory areas between 8 a.m. and midnight, were asked to complete a confidential structured interview. A total of 401 women participated in the study, representing 82 per cent of eligible women approached. Each participant was asked if she had ever been physically hurt by someone close to her. Questions were asked to determine the relationship to the perpetrator, the type and cause of injury, treatment necessary and help sought Seven (1.7 per cent, 95 per cent confidence interval (CI) 0.46 to 3.02) of the women surveyed were attending the hospital as a direct result of an incident of domestic violence, and 100 women (25 per cent, CI 21 to 29) had experienced domestic violence at some time. Bruising, fractures and cuts were the most common forms of injury, with the most common locations being the head, face and chest. Weapons, such as guns and knives, were used in 20 per cent of the incidents. A considerable number of the women (68 per cent) did not seek help at the time of their injuries. As a substantial proportion of women have experienced domestic violence in their lives, accident and emergency workers should receive training in recognising and assisting victims of domestic violence. 1995 Public Health Association of Australia

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-299
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian Journal of Public Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1995
Externally publishedYes


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