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Prevalence and correlates of domestic violence among people seeking treatment for self-harm: data from a regional self-harm register


Background Previous research suggests that there is an association between domestic violence (DV) and self-harm (SH). Yet, the prevalence and clinical significance of DV among individuals presenting acutely to hospital with SH in the UK is unknown.

Objective To measure the prevalence and correlates of DV among patients presenting to hospital with SH.

Methods We conducted a cross-sectional study using registry data in order to describe the prevalence of DV within a UK population of people presenting to the emergency department (ED) with SH (n=1142).

Results 11.1% (95% CI 9.4% to 13.1%) of the sample reported DV. Those reporting DV were more likely to be female and separated from a partner. DV was associated with self-poisoning and with previous occurrence of SH.

Conclusion Our findings suggest that DV victimisation is more prevalent among those presenting to ED with self-harm than among the general population of ED attenders, and that the presence of DV may signify increased risk among those presenting to ED with SH.

  • violence, domestic
  • mental health, self harm
  • self harm
  • epidemiology
  • psychiatry

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