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Physical Abuse - Preparing For Your Appointment

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

If you have made an appointment with your health professional, you may be able to get the most from your visit by being prepared to answer the following questions:

A recent event

  • Has someone hit, slapped, kicked, or otherwise physically hurt you on purpose?
  • Has someone forced you to have sexual activities?
  • What kind of injuries do you have?
  • What triggered the abuser's violent behavior?
  • Has the abuser threatened violence against your children? Is he or she violent toward your children?
  • Has the abuser hurt a pet or destroyed things that belong to you?
  • Is the person who harmed you using any alcohol or illegal drugs?
  • Does the person who harmed you have access to guns or other violent weapons?
  • Do you have any risk factors that increase your chance of becoming a victim of violent behavior?

If you need immediate help, call911.

A history of abusive behavior

  • Have you ever been emotionally or physically abused by your partner or someone important to you?
  • How long have you felt threatened by the violent behavior of someone else?
  • Are you the victim of angry outbursts or violent actions?
  • Do another person's violent outbursts occur at regularly spaced time periods?
  • Has the abuse increased recently?
  • What kind of injuries has the abuse caused? Did you seek health care for the injuries? When and where?
  • Does the abuser control most or all your activities every day?
  • What triggers the abuser's violent behavior?
  • Has the abuser threatened violence against your children? Is he or she violent toward your children?
  • Has the abuser hurt a pet or destroyed things that belong to you?
  • Is the person who harmed you using any alcohol or illegal drugs?
  • Does the person who harmed you have access to guns or other violent weapons?
  • Does your family have a history of violent behavior?
  • Has the abuser ever been diagnosed with depression or a mental illness, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or personality disorder?
  • Do you have any risk factors that increase your chance of becoming a victim of violent behavior?

Another resource for help is the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE, 1-800-799-7233) or see the website at www.ndvh.org for free, confidential counseling and information about local community resources.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: December 23, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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