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Study Finds That Medics Sent to Help Domestic Violence Victims Often Blame Them Instead

Imagine that it’s midnight and you’re hiding in a bathroom, terrified. You didn’t want to call 911, but you were desperate. When the paramedics arrive, you feel momentarily relieved. Then they start to ask you questions—Have you had anything to drink tonight? Was there an argument? What did you say that triggered the violence?

Suddenly, you’re flooded with guilt and shame. You start to feel like it was all your fault. They ask if you want to go to the hospital, but you decline. No more questions. No more talking. You just want to go to bed and forget the incident ever happened.

For millions of victims of domestic violence in this country, this scenario is sickeningly familiar, as new research suggests the very people sent to help them may make them feel more trapped.

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