Domestic violence indicators

Physical indicators:

    Injuries consistent with abuse (e.g., burns, welts, bruises, bites)

    Fractures, dislocations, injuries not consistent with trauma described

    Unusual injury marks, as if from belt, rope, hairbrush injury

    Dried blood, semen

    Site of injury: face, throat, breasts, abdomen, genitals, bilateral extremities

    Drug toxicity/overdose; alcohol intoxication

    Problem pregnancies; preterm bleeding/miscarriage; self-induced abortion

Emotional indicators

    Fearful of caregivers (including hospital staff and visitors)

    Feels threatened with violence, institutionalization, abandonment, guardianship

    Is withdrawn, fearful, depressed

    Process of emotional abuse is observable (e.g., visitor yells/threatens/swears)

    Suicide attempt in context of "relationship problems" and seeking treatment

    Vague, nonspecific complaint of ill or failing health in context of "can't seem to do what I'm supposed to do"

    History of or current self-mutilation

Other Indicators

    Restrained or locked in/out of house

    Is kept socially isolated

    Has frequent, unscheduled use of ED care

    Sleeping or eating disorders

    Prolonged interval between onset of illness or injury

    Single-car crash, either as a driver or passenger

Source: University of North Carolina Hospitals, Chapel Hill, NC