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Domestic violence: its relevance to psychiatry

  • Louise M. Howard


Domestic violence is a major public health problem because it is common and associated with physical and mental health morbidity. It is more common in psychiatric patients but is underdetected by mental health professionals. Routine enquiry increases detection but needs to be introduced in the context of comprehensive training, and only where referral and care pathways have been developed. High-risk patients should be referred to multi-agency risk assessment conferences for multidisciplinary assessment and safe management.

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Corresponding author

Professor Louise M. Howard, PO31 Section of Women's Mental Health, Health Service and Population Research Department, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK. Email:


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Declaration of Interest

L. M. H. currently receives funding from a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Programme Grant for Applied Research on Improving the Healthcare Response to Domestic Violence.



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Domestic violence: its relevance to psychiatry

  • Louise M. Howard
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