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Mandatory Reporting of Domestic Violence in the Healthcare SettingIIntroductionA Portrait of a victimB A biased responseC An argument for mandatory reportingIIThe victimA As seen by the publicB As seen by the professionalIIIWhy victims dont reportA The move toward recognition of domestic violenceB Failure to perceive domestic violence as a crimeC Failure to recognize the repetitive nature of domestic violenceIVThe legal aspectsA At the state levelB At the federal levelC At the local levelV Opposition to mandatory reportingA Advocacy of education and support as a preferred alternativeB Concern for patient confidentialityC A move toward education of healthcare workersVIConclusionI work as an emergency room ER nurse When I arrived at work a few weeks ago Iwas asked to discharge a patient in Trauma Room 3 after bandaging the rest of her woundsWhen I greeted the patient she raised her head but couldnt make eye contact The woman hadbeen severely beaten Her right eye was heavily bandaged and her left eye was bruised andswollen shut Her neck had livid bruises in the shape of hand prints Both arms and legs werecovered with large blue bruises and there were numerous bruises on her trunk There wereneedle tracks up and down both arms and both wrists had repeated deep slashes through theskin Her hair was disheveled and her clothing was blood-stained and odorous She told me thatshe had been held hostage by her boyfriend for two days because she had told him that she wasgoing to leave him She indicated that drug abuse was one of the reasons that she had decided toleave She wanted to stop and her boyfriend did not I cleansed and bandaged her wrists then Iwent to find the nurse who had been taking care of her prior to my arrival I asked the nurse if he had taken pictures of the patients injuries and if she had been askedif she wanted to report the crime My complaisance was shattered by the nurses response Hesaid that
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