Conway1 has aptly summarized much of our current concerns for victims of violence. The numbers are staggering; violence, both inside and outside the home, qualifies as a major public health issue. As practicing physicians, we have a clear duty to help our patients who are living in fear of violence as well those who are present or past victims of such violence.
However, there is another half to the equation. We also care for individuals who are perpetrators of violence, and we can and should attempt to help them as well. Conway suggests that we ask each patient if he or she has been hit or harmed in the last year. We can just as well ask all our patients if they have done anything that caused pain or injury to another. I find that questions about anger can be used to assess the risk of violence.2 Similar
Platt FW. Domestic Violence: The Perpetrators Are Our Patients Too. Arch Intern Med. 1996;156(22):2626. doi:10.1001/archinte.1996.00440210158016