Recommendations on screening for domestic violence - Brief Article

Author: Carrie Morantz, Brian Torrey
Date: Dec 1, 2002

The Family Violence Prevention Fund has developed a resource booklet for primary care physicians on screening for and responding to cases of domestic violence. "Identifying and Responding to Domestic Violence: Consensus Recommendations for Child and Adolescent Health" is available online at www.endabuse. org/health or by calling 888-RX-ABUSE (792-2873).

The booklet provides specific recommendations on screening for, and responding to, domestic violence in child health settings; tips to help family physicians talk to children and their parents about abuse; strategies to use when talking to parents, caregivers, and adolescent patients about domestic violence; guidance on helping children and adolescents who experience or witness abuse; and recommendations on how to proceed in sensitive situations. Sample questions for screening adults who accompany children to medical appointments are also included.

If abuse is disclosed, the booklet tells physicians how to support victims and provide referrals; how to assess and address a victim's safety issues; how to develop a safety plan for the victim; how to document abuse; and how to report child maltreatment or domestic violence if there are mandatory reporting laws. It also provides information on how to help a victim of domestic violence who denies or refuses to discuss abuse.

According to the authors of the booklet, too many health care professionals do not see their role in screening for domestic violence and do not know how to screen caregivers or adolescent patients for violence, or how to talk to caregivers about how abuse affects children.

The booklet was developed in partnership with the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Child Witness to Violence Project at Boston Medical Center, and the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners.

COPYRIGHT 2002 American Academy of Family PhysiciansCOPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group

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