Lavis, Victoria, Horrocks, Christine, Kelly, Nancy and Barker, Val (2005) Domestic Violence and Health Care: Opening Pandora's Box - Challenges and Dilemmas. Feminism & Psychology, 15 (4). pp. 441-460. ISSN 0959-3535

In this article we take a critical stance toward the rational progressive narrative surrounding the integration of domestic violence within health care. While changes in recent UK policy and practice have resulted in several tangible benefits, it is argued that there may be hidden dilemmas and challenges. We suggest that the medical model of care and its discursive practices position women as individually accountable for domestic violence-related symptoms and injuries. This may not only be ineffective in terms of service provision but could also have the potential to reduce the political significance of domestic violence as an issue of concern for all women. Furthermore, it is argued that the use of specific metaphors enables practitioners to distance themselves from interactions that may prove to be less comfortable and provide less than certain outcomes. Our analysis explores the possibilities for change that might currently be available. This would appear to involve a consideration of alternative discourses and the reformulation of power relations and subject positions in health care.

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