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Domestic violence among women attending the Forensic Medicine Institute Marcala, Department of La Paz, Honduras, June 2007 to November 2009
  1. E E Lopez*
  1. Correspondence Secretara de Salud de Honduras, C.A., Avenida Cervantes, contiguo a correo nacional, Direccin General de Vigilancia, Tegucigalpa Honduras


Background In Honduras in 2008 were made 6.572 domestic violence complaints. At the Marcala Forensic Medicine Institute (IML), the leading injury cause complaint by women is domestic violence; the IML covers 10 municipalities, 57 833 women (51%). No previous studies, being necessary to determine the domestic violence prevalence, epidemiological characterisation, injury types and identify the aggressor–victim relationship.

Materials and Methods A series of cases, defined case: Any woman attended by Marcala IML, physical, mental or sexual domestic violence victim, on June 11th 2007 to November 30th, 2009. All medical records in IML were reviewed, developed a sheet to collect variables data: age, origin, marital status, educational level, profession or occupation, race, type of violence, injury, instrument of injury, disability granted, sequels, relationship with the perpetrator; calculated central tendency and frequency measures.

Results Reviewed 613 records, 346 met definition case, median 21 years (range 5 to 71), most affected group 20 to 60 years (51.6%), incomplete primary education (33.5%), single (61%), rural area (71.3%) and housework (64%). Observed two violence types: physical (63%) and sexual (37%). Predominated Contusions (57%) and rape (37%). The spouse was the primary aggressor (20%). Municipalities with higher prevalence rates were Marcala and San Jose with 11.6 and 8.7 per thousand, respectively. Only effect observed: pregnancy (12), 18% victims of rape.

Conclusions Domestic violence present higher proportion on less educated, single women. As a limiting, are recorded only women who be attended by IML. We recommend implementing injury surveillance at other institutions, and disseminate results to other organisation to implement control measures and prevention.

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