to the list of reviews
Domestic violence affects
classes and ethnic groups (1).
However there is an association with young age, marital separation, young children,
financial pressures, drug/alcohol abuse and
disability/ill health (2).
In a study that screened 892 women for domestic violence
in pregnancy, the following were associated with a
history of domestic violence within the last 12 months:
late booking, false labour, significant backaches,
headaches, hyperemesis (3).
In addition, vague unresolved admissions to the antenatal
ward were associated with domestic violence in the
current pregnancy. Another study examined the incidence
of preterm labour and found this to be 4.1 times greater
(incidence 17%) in those who experienced severe violence
as compared to those who experienced no maternal abuse
during pregnancy (4)
Many child protection cases have associated domestic
Between 5% and 11% of women who present acutely to
the accident and emergency do so as a result of domestic
They are more likely to be pregnant, present with multiple
injuries including fractures, abdominal injuries, injuries
to the arm and face, have delayed presentation, lost
consciousness or have been referred by a general practitioner
than those who have been injured through other means
They may initially state that their injury was due
to a fall down the stairs.
1. British Medical Association (1998) Domestic Violence:
a health care issue: London; BMA
2. Home Office (1999). Domestic Violence: Findings
from a new British Crime Survey self-completion questionnaire.
3. Mezey G, Bacchus L, Haworth A, Bewley S. 2000.
An exploration of the prevalence, nature and effect
of domestic violence in pregnancy. ESRC study. www.rhbnc.ac.uk/sociopolitical-science/vrp/
4. Shumway J, O’Campo P, Gielen A, Witter FR, Khouzami
AN, Blakemore KJ. Preterm labor, placental abruption,
and premature rupture of membranes in relation to maternal
violence or verbal abuse. Journal of Maternal-Fetal
Medicine 1999; 8(3): 76-80, Abstract
5. Hayden SR, Barton ED, Hayden M. Domestic violence
in the emergency department: how do women prefer to
disclose and discuss the issues? J Emerg Med 1997;
6. Abbot J, Johnson R, Koziol-McLain J et al. Domestic
violence against women; incidence and prevalence in
the accident and emergency department population. JAMA
1995; 273: 1763-7, Abstract
7. Goldberg WG, Tomlanovich MC. Domestic violence
victims in the emergency department : new findings.
JAMA 1984; 23: 855-8, Abstract
8. Spedding RL, McWilliams M, McNicholl BP, Dearden
CH. Markers for domestic violence in women. J Accid
Emerg Med 1999; 16:400-402, Abstract