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Survey results of women who have been strangled while in an abusive relationship

      Abstract

      Few studies attempt to examine individual methods of domestic abuse. The objectives of this study are to evaluate strangulation as a method of domestic violence abuse: to determine the incidence of strangulation occurrence within the cycle of domestic violence, the subjective medical symptoms experienced by victims of intimate partner strangulation, and the elective utilization of health care following a strangulation incident. Sixty-two women were surveyed at two women’s shelters in Dallas, Texas and Los Angeles, California and the Parkland Health & Hospital (PHHS) Violence Intervention Prevention (VIP) Center in Dallas, Texas. Each patient was individually interviewed and verbal responses were recorded. Statistics were performed using the SPSS program. Of the 62 surveyed, 42 (68%) had been strangled by their intimate partner who was a husband (23, 55%), boyfriend (13, 31%), or fiancé (2, 5%), by a mother, stranger, or friend (1 each). Strangulation, as a method of domestic violence, is quite common in women seeking medical help or shelter in a large urban city. This study suggests that strangulation occurs late in the abusive relationship; thus, women presenting with complaints consistent with strangulation probably represent women at higher risk for major morbidity or mortality.

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