The adverse health consequences associated with domestic violence often bring patients who are abused in contact with health care professionals. Patients who use violence against their partners are also likely to seek health services. Patients may seek health care services for problems, such as physical injuries, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress that are triggered by domestic violence. Facial injuries caused by domestic violence can be identified in dental settings. Primary care, reproductive health, and child health care providers are also positioned to identify and prevent domestic violence. This section includes guidelines for screening, documenting, and responding to domestic violence.
This toolkit from The National Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence offers health care providers and advocates for victims the tools to prepare a clinical practice to address domestic and sexual violence, including screening instruments, sample scripts for providers, patient and provider education resources. It also offers strategies for forging partnerships between health care and domestic and sexual violence programs.
"One of our challenges is not only to have policies in place that say that nurses and physicians need to routinely assess for domestic violence, but how they do it. If they’ve got a checklist and they say, “you’re not abused are you?” or ask it in a way that’s not engaging, that’s clearly uncomfortable. - Jackie Campbell from Power and Control: Domestic Violence in America (2012)