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Domestic Violence

Violence in Female to Male



My father has been being physically and mentally abused by his wife (not my mother) for the past two years. He is normally in good health. Last week he was complaining of dry mouth, headache, and back ache. He presented to the ER 5 days ago with SOB, back ache. He wasnt allowed to call me but found a way to the phone on Sunday night. He stated to me when I got to the hosital that he thinks she is poisoning him. I also learned two days later he stated this to his friend. Now his kidneys and liver are showing above normal ranges on his blood work. He has jaundice now also. He is very agitated and confused now and can not relay to the doctors what he told me. Five days later here is what I found out, kidney, liver, gallbladder (all scans had no findings), lungs (on 4-5L O2), heart normal, back he can not lay long enough for the MRI. I told the doctor of what he said and he kind of blew me off the first time. I told him again today and he said he would have to call pathology and find out if and how to test for that. He also said it would take 1-2 weeks for results. She is still in the room now making him drink liquids she brought in from the outside. What can I do and can this be possible? We live in Pennsylvania.


Given your concerns and the uncertainty of this situation, I would suggest that you follow your instincts and inform someone of your concerns. If the physician is having a hard time understanding you and your concerns I would reach out to a social worker in the hospital. They are often very resourceful and obligated to follow-up on concerns even if there is a suspicion of abuse or neglect. Even if you father is not currently hospitalized, you can contact the social work department at the hospital for help. Our seniors are often a forgotten group when it comes to abuse and neglect. 

I would act immediately - even if this is not happening- you are doing all that you can to protect him and make sure that he is safe.

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Response by:

Cathy   McDaniels-Wilson, PhD Cathy McDaniels-Wilson, PhD
Adjunct Professor
Department of Sociology
The Ohio State University