Objective To determine the perceptions of shelter advocates and battered women regarding the treatment of battered women in emergency departments. Methods Mailed survey of 74 battered women and 49 battered women's advocates from Michigan shelters for abused women during an 8-month period. Results Half of the battered women reported negative experiences in the emergency department, such as feeling humiliated, being blamed for their abuse, having abuse minimized, being given insufficient referrals, and not being identified as battered women. Many of the battered women had, in addition to their battering injuries, physical (39.7%) and mental (37.7%) health problems that could be linked to the abuse they had suffered. A significant positive correlation (r = 0.28) was found between existing physical complaints and number of ED visits in the previous year. Conclusions The data were used to develop appropriate model ED policies and procedures for the identification, treatment, and referral of battered women to meet Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations guidelines regarding abuse.