Exposure to violence in intimate relationships - a clinical case

Jacinta Rodrigues Fonseca, Catarina Maia, Sara Melo, Lúcia Rodrigues, Márcia Cordeiro


Children who are exposed to violence in intimate relationships are often deemed “indirect victims” and for a long time it was difficult to fit them into a specific abuse category. Nowadays, emotional abuse includes interparental violence that is witnessed by minors. A case is presented of a child repeatedly exposed to his father’s physical and emotional violence towards his mother.
This clinical case draw attention to the need of developing awareness-raising strategies to do active screening in pediatric appointments and primary healthcare in abuse situations, namely exposure to violence in intimate relationships. Domestic violence is a public crime and includes situations of exposure to violence in intimate relations, which is a crucial aspect in the inter-generational transmission of this kind of behaviour. It is urgent to break these cycles of violence and counsel both the victims and the aggressors.


Children; interparental violence; emotional abuse

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