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Such an assessment can be done in a matter of minutes. As in the case of any newly diagnosed medical condition, a healthcare practitioner who has identified domestic violence should provide the woman with information about available resources such as helpline telephone numbers and addresses of websites with information about shelters, local support groups and legal aid services. Providers can also obtain informational materials such as posters and pamphlets from Women's Aid.

These materials can be displayed in waiting and examination rooms to serve as cues to women that the clinical environment is a safe place in which to discuss domestic violence. When offering resource information, clinicians should make certain that women are able to use them; many materials are available in languages other than English and for women with low literacy. If there is concern about discovery, then information taken home must look innocuous. Simply writing down an unidentified telephone number on a small piece of paper may be all that is necessary.

Additionally, a provider may contact services on behalf of an abuse victim if given permission to do so. Safety planning involves consideration of scenarios in which the woman must flee her situation immediately or decides to leave permanently. Specifically, the clinician should encourage her to identify places she could go to if she were in imminent danger e.

If the woman has a bank account or credit cards, she should make a note of their numbers.


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These documents and numbers can be packed in a plastic bag together with a change of clothes for her and her family and, if possible, an extra set of car keys. This bag should be hidden outside the home, for example at a friend's house or at work, to be used should she need to leave quickly. Cultural sensitivity is important during every clinical encounter. There should be no cultural norm that ethically or legally permits violence against women, but there are women who live in communities where options for escaping such violence are severely limited.

The clinician should take this into consideration when discussing safety planning. The medical record is a legal document that could some day aid the victim of abuse in a court of law.

Clinician's Guide to Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient Practice

It is, therefore, of utmost importance that clinicians report in the hospital or office record any suspicions of domestic violence and any discussions with the woman. In the event of injury, clinicians should clearly record a description of the abuse in the woman's own words and all physical findings, using a body map and photographs if possible. In all cases, there should be special attention to stating the identity and relationship of the abuser e. Lastly, if a clinician suspects abuse but the woman does not disclose it, this should be included in the medical record.

Domestic violence affects one in four women and has tremendous impact on the health and wellbeing of female patients. Women's healthcare providers are in a unique position to lessen this impact, at the very least by alleviating the isolation that is often integral to such victimisation. In accordance with expert guidelines, clinicians should enquire routinely about partner abuse and offer support and information about available resources for women experiencing violence.

Women's Aid: telephone ; website: www. Volume 14 , Issue 3. If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, your email address may not be registered, and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account. If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username.

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Share Give access Share full text access. Share full text access. Please review our Terms and Conditions of Use and check box below to share full-text version of article. Abstract Key content Domestic violence is common among obstetric and gynaecology patients and is a leading cause of maternal mortality.

Support for Patients and Families

Learning objectives To understand the prevalence of domestic violence, risk factors and the impact on women's health. Ethical issues The highest standard of confidentiality is required to keep abused women safe; at times, this standard may conflict with complete information sharing. Introduction Domestic violence is threatening behaviour, violence or abuse psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional between adults who are or have been intimate partners. The clinical setting Myths and stereotypes exist about abused women.

History In their study 17 involving approximately women, Thompson and colleagues found that many experience more than one type of domestic violence and that the longer the abuse continues, the more likely it is that multiple forms will occur.

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Enquiring about domestic violence In the USA, most major medical organisations recommend routinely asking adult women about domestic violence. Aiding women who are being abused When a woman reveals that she is experiencing domestic violence, the healthcare provider should acknowledge her experience and tell her that she is not alone and that no one deserves to be abused.

Referrals As in the case of any newly diagnosed medical condition, a healthcare practitioner who has identified domestic violence should provide the woman with information about available resources such as helpline telephone numbers and addresses of websites with information about shelters, local support groups and legal aid services.

Documentation The medical record is a legal document that could some day aid the victim of abuse in a court of law. Conclusion Domestic violence affects one in four women and has tremendous impact on the health and wellbeing of female patients. Websites and further information Women's Aid: telephone ; website: www. Domestic Abuse. London : BMA; [ www.

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    A Clinician’s Guide to Helping Children Cope and Cooperate with Medical Care

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