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April 20, 1994

Health and Justice Professionals Set Goals to Lessen Domestic Violence

JAMA. 1994;271(15):1147-1148. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510390011004

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IT'S AN OLD story—one that members of the healing, teaching, social service, and legal professions in particular would like to see come to an end.

For many years Mary (not her real name) was abused by her husband psychologically and physically. She went to the police for help, without success. She sought assistance from her church, with equal lack of success. Finally, Mary got a job and decided to leave the abusive relationship. She got legal advice and obtained a court order of restraint against her husband, then moved out of town. A few weeks later, Mary's husband tracked her down and shot her dead. The man escaped legal punishment on grounds of temporary insanity.

This story was related by Palma E. Formica, MD, a family physician who practices in Old Bridge, NJ, at the National Conference on Family Violence: Health and Justice, held last month in Washington, DC. "Mary

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