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Mandatory duty to report spousal assault victims: medico-legal issues, women's health and physicians

Ferris LE, Strike CJ. Health Law Can 1999; 19(3):65-71.

Spousal abuse is a major public health issue because of its prevalence toward women, the magnitude of hidden suffering involved, the extent of injuries caused by assaults and the consumption of health care services. In Canada, physical or sexual assault of a partner is a criminal offence. This article discusses mandatory reporting by health care providers of suspected or confirmed spousal assault cases by examining the arguments for and against such requirements.

Keywords: Domestic violence Mandatory reporting Health law and legislation Women’s health