History of Domestic Violence among Male Patients Presenting to an Urban Emergency Department

Authors

  • C. Crawford Mechem MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Emergency Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.
      ***Department of Emergency Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, 3400 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-4283. Fax: 215-662-3953; e-mail: mechemc@mail.med.upenn.edu
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Frances S. Shofer PhD,

    1. Department of Emergency Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Sharon S. Reinhard BA, EMT,

    1. Department of Emergency Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Sarah Hornig BSN, RN,

    1. Department of Emergency Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Elizabeth Datner MD

    1. Department of Emergency Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.
    Search for more papers by this author

***Department of Emergency Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, 3400 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-4283. Fax: 215-662-3953; e-mail: mechemc@mail.med.upenn.edu

Abstract

Abstract. Objective: To establish the prevalence of domestic violence committed by women against male patients presenting to an urban ED for any reason. Methods: This was a prospective survey in which male patients of legal age presenting to the ED over a 13-week period were interviewed. Patients answered a series of six questions adapted from the George Washington University Universal Violence Prevention Screening Protocol. Patients who could not speak English, those refusing to participate, those unable to give informed consent, and those meeting regional criteria for major trauma were excluded. Results: Of 866 male patients interviewed, 109 (12.6%) had been the victims of domestic violence committed by a female intimate partner within the preceding year. Victims were more likely to be younger, single, African American, and uninsured. The most common forms of assault were slapping, grabbing, and shoving (60.6% of victims). These were followed by choking, kicking, biting, and punching (48.6%), or throwing an object at the victim (46.8%). Thirty-seven percent of cases involved a weapon. Seven percent of victims described being forced to have sex. Nineteen percent of victims contacted the police; 14% required medical attention; 11% pressed charges or sought a restraining order; and 6% pursued follow-up counseling. Conclusions: Almost 13% of men in this sample population had been victims of domestic violence committed by a female intimate partner within the previous year. Further attention to the recognition and management of domestic violence committed by women against men may be warranted.

Ancillary