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Minerva Medicolegale 2011 March;131(1):21-7

language: Italian

Domestic violence: case report

D’Ovidio C. 1, Carnevale A. 1, Cassaro M. 2

1 Sezione di Medicina Legale, Università “G. d’Annunzio”, di Chieti-Pescara, Italia
2 Unità di Chirurgia Maxillo-Facciale, Ospedale “S. Chiara”, Trento, Italia


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Recent statistics, which come mainly from the United States, show that the family is the place where child abuses occur most frequently. In addition, there are no doubts on the role played by the mother, as the only responsible, or in association with others, in making violence. We report a case of knife wound in a child with the blade fixed into the left arm of mandible without neurological or vascular lesions. The knife stay allowed to identify with accuracy the direction of assault and the degree of blade penetration. The knife was removed surgically and the degree of blade penetration in the bone permitted to determine force used by attacker. As a matter of fact blade penetration in the jaw, which resistance is higher than parietal bone, seemed to need a force ranging 1.000-2.000 newton postuled to be seen during impact on target in experimental knife attack. In the observed case the accidental nature of the lesion, referred by the child, was excluded by the identification of the force and by the direction of stub wound.

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