Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Domestic violence is also called intimate partner violence, domestic abuse,
and intimate partner abuse and is any form of maltreatment that takes place in a
heterosexual or homosexual romantic relationship between adults or adolescents.
Intimate partner violence is a major public-health problem, due to its
affecting more than 2 million women and 800,000 men and resulting in
homelessness of victims, billions of dollars in health-care costs, and lost work
Intimate partner abuse has been and in some ways continues to be
endorsed in all societies through legal sanctioning of the subjugation of women
and lack of legal protections for GLBT victims.
While domestic abuse strikes
couples of all races, religions, social economic status, and sexual
orientations, risk factors for men or women becoming victims or abusers include
poverty, lack of a high school education, witnessing family violence as a child,
and attitudes of male domination and substance abuse, especially alcohol abuse.
Warning signs for individuals to consider if they suspect they are the victim
of intimate partner violence include feeling demeaned, assaulted, or excessively
controlled by their partner.
Warning signs friends, family members, and
coworkers can look for if they wonder whether the person they care about is the
victim of domestic abuse include frequent absences from school or work, numerous
injuries the victim tries to explain, low self-esteem, a change in their
personality, fear of conflicts, passive-aggressive behavior, blaming him- or
herself, isolation from others, or stress-related physical symptoms.
professionals unfortunately only screen for intimate partner abuse in about 20%
of the patients seen. Domestic violence is most effectively assessed
when the professional asks questions that call for more than a "yes" or "no"
answer and do not directly inquire about domestic abuse, at least earlier during
any assessment interview.
Domestic abuse is treated by establishing and
maintaining the safety of the victim, providing appropriate legal consequences
to the batterer, addressing the emotional impact on the victim and the problems
of the abuser, particularly if one of the problems includes alcohol or other
The prognosis of domestic violence can be quite negative if
it goes on untreated, in that the emotional and physical consequences of
continued abuse can be severe and even end in homicide. Treatment can improve
Prevention of domestic violence involves providing economic
opportunity, mentors, role models, organized community programs for youth and
families, a school environment that promotes prevention of abusiveness in any
relationship, and adult family members who are nurturing and who provide
consistent, structured support.
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