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Health care settings provide an opportunity for health care professionals to identify and respond to domestic violence. Victims of domesic abuse come into frequent contact with health care providers. With more than 4 million women battered annually in the United States, health care systems are a frequent portal of entry into a system of potential services that can help victims and their children to be safe. Because of frequent injruies, health care providers are often the first, and sometimes the only, helping professional to interact with victims. This makes the role of health care all the more important as we work to end domestic violence.
Since late 2000, WCADV's Health Care Project has supported work to develop leaders on healthcare practice and policy throughout the state and to influence the organizational culture of health and medical systems such that victims of domestic violence in Wisconsin know that health and medical systems are safe supportive systems to which they can turn. WCADV freqently provides training to health care professionals and policy development with health systems to increase responsiveness to domestic violence victims.
Elder Abuse, Neglect and Family Violence: A Guide for Health Care Professionals
As a health care professional, you are not expected to “fix” or solve elder abuse, but you do have an opportunity to ask screening questions about family violence, listen to the patient and acknowledge her story, help break the patient’s isolation, offer support, talk about safety and connect the patient with local resources. For some victims, a health care provider may be the only professional contact and opportunity they have to disclose fears and seek help to break the isolation often associated with abuse.
Created by WCADV in collaboration with the Wisconsin Bureau of Aging and Disability Resources (2009 revision)
FAQs - Domestic Violence and Health Care
Frequently Asked Questions about Domestic Violence and Health Care.
Health Care Provider pocket screening card
Health Care Provider pocket screening card, developed by WCADV and the Wisconsin Women's Health Foundation. Quantities available from WCADV.
Health Care Provider Screening Tool
Developed by the University of Wisconsin's Department of Family Medicine's Community Advisory Board of the Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Physician Training Program in 2005.