Dilemmas in Intimate Partner Violence

International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, Vol. 106, pp. 72-75, 2009

Univ. of Toronto Law School, Legal Studies Research Paper Series No. 1437645

4 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2009

See all articles by Rebecca J. Cook

Rebecca J. Cook

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Bernard Dickens

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

Intimate partner violence (IPV), usually men’s violence against women, appears universal. It may be associated with pregnancy, but this may be because pregnant women receive more medical attention. Violence may cause bruises, abrasions, and cuts, but its extremes include hospitalization, death, and suicide. IPV is often disclosed when women are asked why they feel in poor health or depressed. A legal dilemma arises when healthcare providers consider that intervention such as law-enforcement is appropriate, but patients refuse approval. Patients may fatalistically accept violence, or fear loss of support for their children and themselves if their partners are held in custody. Legal reforms, such as punishing spousal rape, may provide some protection of women’s autonomy. Ethical dilemmas concern intervention without patients’ approval, and whether treating violent injuries without taking preventive action breaches the principle to Do No Harm. Professional advocacy and social action have been urged to expose and reduce IPV.

Keywords: Domestic violence, intimate partner violence, pregnant victims of violence, spousal violence, violence against women, violence during pregnancy, wife beating

JEL Classification: K10, J13, I18, I10

Suggested Citation

Cook, Rebecca J. and Dickens, Bernard, Dilemmas in Intimate Partner Violence (2009). International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, Vol. 106, pp. 72-75, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1437645

Rebecca J. Cook

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 Queen's Park Cr.
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-4446 (Phone)
416-978-7899 (Fax)

Bernard Dickens (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-4849 (Phone)
416-978-7899 (Fax)

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