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01.03.2013 | original article | Ausgabe 5-6/2013

Wiener klinische Wochenschrift 5-6/2013

Female and male victims of violence in an urban emergency room—prevalence, sociodemographic characteristics, alcohol intake, and injury patterns

Wiener klinische Wochenschrift > Ausgabe 5-6/2013
Univ.-Ass. Mag. Nathalie Tatjana Burkert, Éva Rásky, Wolfgang Freidl, Franziska Großschädl, Johanna Muckenhuber, Renate Krassnig, Regina Gatternig, Herwig-Peter Hofer
Wichtige Hinweise
An erratum to this article can be found at http://​dx.​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s00508-013-0383-6.



Violence as well as alcohol-attributable injuries is a dominant public health issue worldwide. Victims, being injured, frequently visit emergency rooms (ER).


We interviewed all the patients seeking help in an urban emergency room reporting being victims of violent behavior over a period of 3 months (from November 2011 to January 2012).


Our results showed that 1 out of 23 patients seeking help in our ER was due to forcible means. A total of 15 % of all victims reported domestic violence (75 % women) and others (90 % men) reported brawl as the reason for seeking help. Overall, 80 % of the victims were younger than 40 years. In case of domestic violence, two-third (only women) reported that they were hurt by their intimate partner. At total of 50 % were treated for head wounds and 35 % had injuries of their extremities. One-third of the patients were alcoholized. The victims of brawls mainly suffer from head injuries (69 %). Half of this patient group was under the influence of alcohol.


To conclude, victims of violence seek for help in emergency rooms daily. Alcohol consumption is the main factor for violent behavior. Public health programs to prevent alcohol related violence and therefore, alcohol-attributable injuries have to be implemented. Addressing the need to enhance the awareness of the health professionals has to be an imperative.

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