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Nurse Pract. 1997 May;22(5):105-8, 111-2, 115 passim.

The importance of screening for domestic violence in all women.

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Eau Claire Women's Care, Wis., USA.


Both the current and past surgeon generals of the United States and the Public Health objectives for Healthy People 2000 have identified family violence as an epidemic and have called for an organized approach to screen, treat, and prevent further violence. Domestic violence is not, and never has been, a "disease" of the poor. Thousands of women from high socioeconomic levels are beginning to shatter our visual image of an abused woman and are forcing us to look at current primary care screening practices and interventions. Domestic violence is as common, and in some cases more prevalent, as diseases routinely screened for such as breast cancer, hypothyroidism, hypertension, and colon cancer. One of the barriers to universal screening of domestic violence is our reliance on the profile of the typical battered woman. One often neglected population is women from higher socioeconomic groups. This article provides the rationale for universal screening of all women for domestic violence.

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