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November 15, 1995

Domestic Violence Against Women-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of Colorado Health Science Center Denver

JAMA. 1995;274(19):1508. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530190021022

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In Reply.  —One of the problems with domestic violence research is lack of a consistent definition, as Dr Donohoe points out. Since one of our major goals was to clarify statistics reported by others and widely cited in debates about public policy, we tailored our definition to include both physical injury and emotional intimidation, as other studies that we cited had done, but did not include either sexual violence or childhood abuse. Pregnant patients were included. In our study, 42 women (7%) were pregnant, and another 52 (9%) were not sure if they were pregnant. The rates of acute domestic violence, recent domestic violence within 1 month, or cumulative prevalence of domestic violence did not differ statistically between pregnant and nonpregnant patients.We agree with Dr Herbert and Ms Kanter that personal counseling by a legal team physically present in a busy emergency department would certainly be expected to enhance

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