Battered Men

While medical groups champion campaigns to reduce domestic violence against women, a new study indicates that men are victims as often as women.

The study included 516 patients who presented at the emergency department of Charity Hospital, New Orleans, La, in July 1995. Using the index of spouse abuse (ISA), a validated survey tool, researchers determined the prevalence
of domestic violence in 4 areas: physical violence that occurred recently or more than a year ago and nonphysical violence that was recent or had occurred in the past.

Based solely on ISA scoring, the researchers said 19% of the women patients and 20% of the men had experienced recent physical violence. They pointed out that some experts fear attention to domestic violence against men will de-emphasize the importance of services for women.

"Recognition of the global nature of violence may be more realistic than assuming that only women are victims," the researchers wrote in this month's Annals of Emergency Medicine.

(JAMA. 1997;278:620)