The aims of this study were to describe the epidemiology of violence in Turkish emergency departments (EDs), and to provide a more specific focus on violence. This study was conducted in 18 EDs in west Turkey for 3 months. Emergency staff in the EDs were asked to recall experiences of violence directed at them at work over the previous year. We then put these experiences into five categories: verbal abuse, specific threats, physical action with or without injury, sexual violence, and the last category, acts not falling in the other four categories. The data were analyzed using chi-square test and percent ratios. Of the 195 respondents answering the questions regarding violence against them, 72.3% (141/ 195) had experienced some form of violence. Most of the respondents stated that they had experienced verbal/ emotional abuse (69.5%), followed by specific threats (53.2%), and physical action (8.5%). Groups experiencing the highest percentage of any type of violence during the previous year were as follows: 30-39-year-olds (82.1%), nurses and physicians (80.8% and 78.0%, respectively), public hospital health care staff (81.0%), staff working for 61-120 months (82.8%), those working between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (81.8%), and those working in low deprivation practices (79.6%). Most of the aggressors were patients' relatives (89%) as compared with patients' themselves (52%). Half of those experiencing physical action (50% [6/12]) during the course of the last year received support and inability reports due to minor injuries. There were no major injuries such as lacerations or fractures. We recommend that training to deal with violence in the workplace be specifically targeted at members of staff who are most likely to be at risk of threats of violence and actual physical aggression. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc.