Patients Attitudes About Mandatory Reporting of Domestic Violence: Implications for Health Care Professionals
Rodriguez, Michael A.
Craig, Andrea M.
Mooney, Donna R.
Bauer, Heidi M.
Western Journal of Medicine. 1998 Dec; 169(6): 337-341.
As of January 1994, California physicians are required to report to police all patients who are suspected to be victims of domestic violence. This article describes the results from a focus group study of abused women (n = 51) that explored their experiences with and perspectives on medical care. The eight focus groups included two Latina (total n = 14), two Asian (total n = 14), two African-American (total n = 9), and two Caucasian (total n = 14) groups of women who had been the victims of domestic abuse within the previous 2 years. The women were recruited through community-based organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area. With regard to physician reporting of domestic violence to police, five themes were identified: fear of retaliation by the abuser, fear of family separation, mistrust of the legal system, desire for police protection, and preference for confidentiality and autonomy in the patient-health professional relationship. Our results indicate that mandatory reporting may pose a threat to the safety and well-being of abused women and may create barriers to their seeking help and communicating with health care professionals about domestic violence.
Asian Americans; Attitudes; Autonomy; Confidentiality; Domestic Violence; Family Relationship; Females; Focus Groups; Health; Health Care; Hispanic Americans; Law; Mandatory Reporting; Organizations; Patients; Physician Patient Relationship; Physicians; Psychological Stress; Reporting; Survey; Violence;
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