Domestic Violence: Evidence from Ophthalmology
Purpose: To find the frequency of domestic violence as per patient examination by consultant ophthalmologist in OPD at THQ Hospital Ahmedpur, and to make ophthalmologists especially in rural and backward areas aware of the need to be more vigilant in order to save lives.
Study Design: This is an exploratory study. During this study observation of physical trauma on face especially related to eye, orbit and adnexa were used as inclusion criteria. Wound due to road traffic accidents and wounds older than two weeks were not included.
Place and Duration of Study: Study was carried out for a time span of three months from May 2018 till July 2018 at Tehsil Headquarter Hospital, Ahmedpur.
Material and Methods: 156 female patients were identified as battered females out of 4368 total female patients checked during three months period. Out of these 156 female patients 39 reported to have faced violence while rest of 117 cases were of suspected domestic violence where abuse was not admitted nor was abuser identified.
Results: The patients ranged from 14 to 88 years old females. The abuser were mostly husbands and in-laws including mother-in-law, father-in-law, brothers-in-laws and sister-in-laws. Surprisingly in several cases even own sons were batterers of their own mothers. Wounds included lacerations, hyphemas, swollen eyes and serious injuries like ruptured globes, retinal hemorrhages, subarachnoid or intra-cerebral bleeding, subdural hematoma and orbital bone fractures. Out of these 156 cases 23 of serious injuries were referred to Bahawalpur Victoria Hospital, rest were treated and recommended for follow-ups.
Conclusion: Females in almost all ages face domestic violence in Ahmedpur East. However, as the age advanced, percentage of violence cases dropped to 17%. Financial stress, lack of male heir, infertility, and local social customs of bride purchase and exchange marriages were some of the common causes of reported domestic violence cases. Due to lack of training, social services and legal mode of action, multiple and frequent suspected domestic violence cases which can be easily identified by ophthalmology and other medical specialties go unrecognized and unidentified.
Keywords: Domestic Violence, Laceration, Hyphemas, Orbital Fractures, Ruptured Globes.