Domestic Violence and Health Care

This collection organizes resources into the following five areas: 1) the impact of domestic violence on health; 2) public health approaches to domestic violence prevention; 3) guidelines and issues concerning identification and intervention by health care providers; 4) information about collaboration between health care providers and domestic violence advocates; and 5) training.

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VAWnet Summary:

Domestic Violence and Health Care (October 2008, Updated September 2013) by the Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse for VAWnet, the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

Health care settings provide an immense opportunity for health care providers to address the problem of domestic violence. Patients who are at risk of abuse, who are being abused, or have been abused are likely to seek services for regular health care, injuries, or chronic health problems related to abuse. In addition, patients who use violence against their partners are also likely to seek health services. This provides opportunities for health care providers to prevent or respond to domestic violence by identifying patients who are using violence or being abused, documenting abuse, guiding patients affected by domestic violence in safety planning, and making referrals to advocates. Health care providers are also in a unique position to engage in primary prevention. This can be done by disseminating information about domestic violence through on-going dialogue with patients about healthy relationships or by educating against domestic violence through posters, pamphlets, and brochures.

This special collection draws heavily from the work of the Family Violence Prevention Fund’s Health Resource Center, and was developed by staff of the Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse in consultation with the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence.