She came to my primary care office because of splitting headaches and a bruised eye after a fall. Fifteen minutes into the history, she burst into tears. The inciting question: “Do you feel safe at home?” The patient was a survivor of physical violence from an intimate partner, a trauma that nearly 1 in 3 US women will experience during their lifetime.1 This patient had experienced frequent punches to her nose, eyes, and ears and had been seen by other clinicians, yet there was no mention of violence in her medical record. I comforted her, documented pictures of the wounds in my medical note, and, after verifying she had a safe place to stay, connected her with a domestic abuse intervention program. They helped her find a lawyer to file a restraining order.
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Foote MB. Unseen Trauma—Our Responsibility to Discover. JAMA Intern Med. 2019;179(5):609. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.0234
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