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26 Canadian J. Criminology 171 (1984)
Wife Battering: A Well-kept Secret

handle is hein.journals/cjccj26 and id is 179 raw text is: Wife Battering:
A Well-kept Secret'
Selon une 6tude faite par les auteurs aupr~s des m6decins, des psychiatres, des
psychologues, des travailleurs sociaux et des pasteurs des dglises A London,
Ontario, les professionnels qui ont le plus souvent A intervenir aupr~s des
femmes battues sont les psychologues et les travailleurs sociaux. Ce sont les
m6decins et les pasteurs qui disent rencontrer le moins souvent de tels cas
dans leut pratique. Les r6sultats du relev6 indiquent que la resource privil6-
gi6e par les intervenants est le refuge pour les femmes battues. La plupart des
intervenants semblent prdf6rer ne pas avoir A renvoyer I'affaire au syst6me de
Violence directed against women in their own homes has been identified
in the last decade as a social problem which as reached epidemic proportions.
Researchers have estimated that between 10% and one-hal f7' 18 of all
women who live with a male partner will be assaulted at least once during the
relationship. Much of the research in this field has focused on the extent of the
problem in society and the inadequaces in the criminal justice system's re-
sponse to calls for assistance.3' 6, 9, 11. 16 The response to abused women from
other human service professionals has not received very much attention in the
past and examinations of this response usually involve self-reports from the
victims who sought treatment.
Studies that have been conducted to investigate the responses of medical,
mental health, clergy, and social service professionals to family violence have
reported that these professionals usually fail to question the female about the
possibility that injuries or certain emotional problems are related to family
violence. In cases where the existence of violence is established, professionals
often assume that the female is exaggerating the extent of the abuse.2' 8, 13, 15
A study conducted by Stark etal.,'5 examined the records of an emergen-
cy room of a major American general hospital and reported that only one in 35
battered women who went to emergency for treatment of injuries was identified

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