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PTSD from domestic violence

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Someone is having severe PTSD episodes, to the point of considering going to the ER because of suicidal thoughts.

The PTSD is from physical abuse from a husband, which she is no longer with and lives states away from.  Will the doctors be required to alert the police etc?

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It may depend on the state and I don't know this person's current situation- how long they have been seperated, etc.

But, I am pretty sure the answer is no.

I don't mean any disrespect to the person in question, but the current crisis is really about what effect the Post Traumatic Stress is having on their mental state right now. And an ER doctor can only assess the symptoms that they can observe. So, the person can tell the doctor what is going on, what trauma they are reliving, how it is effecting them, what they need, what they are afraid of- but in terms of the original trauma- in a way, that isn't the issue at hand right now, nor is it the doctor's responsibility unless the patient is STILL in that dangerous situation or currently in a dangerous situation, or if they conclude that she may still somehow be at risk.

Not to say that nothing can ever be done. but I really don't think that the doctor's responsibility lies in the past, as there are current matters and that is what this person would go to the ER for- not the INITIAL trauma, but what they are experiencing now. That is what the doctor needs to treat.

Like I said, I don't know, but I really don't think they would call the police.

But I didn't have the police called in my state at the ER giving a background and talking about PTSD from domestic violence.

But regardless of any other factors-

If this person is feeling suicidal, they should go and seek help.

They were strong enough to get away from the person that was hurting them. They need to continue the fight and go and get the help and support they need.


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The number one priority for anyone who is suicidal and in danger of hurting themselves is to go to the ER and get treatment.   

It would be unconscionable to allow someone to kill themself in order to avoid maybes, and what if's.

The ER staff will address the patient's immediate needs, that is keeping her safe from suicide. 

If the patient doesn't present with any signs of injury and states that any domestic violence occured in the past then there is no reason for the police to be called.  You may be confusing this situation with state laws that require professionals to report child abuse, even if suspected.  Not the same situation.

*If someone is in danger of hurting themselves, get them to the ER*


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it does vary by state, in a lot of states the wife has to request to have charges filed, in others the police do it automatically.

but as she is not in current danger from this man, i do not think they would break confidentiality to report it.  there are only certain situations wherein they break confidentiality, and i do not think this is one of them, otherwise battered women would never be able to seek out psychiatric help.

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