Women's Shame Stalls Abuse Disclosure To Physicians

e in three noticed improvement when she left the relationship or discussed it with a health professional.

The study also found that:

  • The doctor's gender was less of a barrier to discussing abuse than whether he or she appeared caring, easy to talk to and supportive.
  • Domestic violence posters displayed in the medical office helped prompt some victims to speak up. Questionnaires, when administered in private, also helped.
  • Although nearly all of the women who received prescription medications for depression, anxiety or sleep disturbances benefitted from them, many feared addiction or decreased alertness in the presence of an abusive partner.

The fact that all of the women were in group therapy, however, might have introduced bias in the study, McCauley says. "More studies need to be performed to confirm the findings of this study," she says.

The study's other authors were Robin A. Yurk, M.D., M.P.H.; Mollie W. Jenckes, M.H.S.; and Daniel E. Ford, M.D., M.P.H.


Contact: Karen Infeld
(410) 955-1534
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

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