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Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2010 Feb;31(2):128-36. doi: 10.3109/01612840903383984.

Domestic violence in women with serious mental illness involved with child protective services.

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  • 1Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106-4904, USA.


The purpose of this study is to describe mothers with serious mental illness who have experienced domestic violence and are involved with child protective services. One hundred twenty-two files from the Department of Child and Family Services were reviewed. According to this retrospective review, the majority of the mothers and children had been exposed to domestic violence (62.6%). Mothers with the diagnoses of major depression-single episode and major depression-recurrent were most likely to have disclosed domestic violence exposure, compared to mothers with other serious mental illnesses. Our findings, and that of other cited studies, support the practice of routine assessment of domestic violence in women with serious mental illnesses, identification of safe havens for mothers and children, and access to continuing parenting support for these vulnerable family groups.

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