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JAMA NetSight
August 5, 1998

Domestic Violence Resources on the Internet

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Emergency Medicine, East Carolina University School of Medicine, Greenville, NC (Dr Goodman; e-mail: goodman@brody med.ecu.edu).

 

Edited by William M. Silberg, Editorial Director, New Media Office, AMA Scientific Information and Multimedia Group. JAMA NetSight: A Guide to Interactive Medicine section editors: Richard Peters, MD, and Robert Sikorski, MD, Medsite Communications Corp, Boston, Mass (Dr Peters, e-mail: rpeters@tiac.net; Dr Sikorski, e-mail: rsikorsk@erols.com).

JAMA. 1998;280(5):477-478. doi:10.1001/jama.280.5.477

I haven't shared much of my story with my doctors. I was afraid that they weren't trained to deal with this subject, and my story is complicated. . . . I want doctors to be aware of agencies that assist victims, so that they can appropriately refer patients they believe could benefit from these services.—Anonymous1

Domestic violence is a universal health care problem, affecting millions of individuals worldwide. In the United States alone, approximately 2 million women per year report abuse episodes.2 Due to the social stigma of domestic violence, lack of family and community support, risks of escalated violence, and an uncertain future after intervention, episodes are often not reported, especially in small towns, rural areas, and among same-sex or military populations. Because domestic violence has medical, socioeconomic, legal, and community considerations, a broad range of resources is often needed to address it appropriately. Yet despite the widespread nature of the problem, domestic violence resources, and access to them, vary widely among towns, counties, states, and countries. Although no substitute for direct interventions, the Internet and World Wide Web present opportunities to direct health professionals and their patients to useful resources that could contribute to improved management of this pressing problem.

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