DV Healthcare Initiative
Domestic violence is a health care problem of epidemic proportions in New Jersey and throughout the United States.
Did You Know…
- Nationally, nearly one-third of American women (31 percent) report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives.
- Thirty percent of Americans say they know a woman who has been physically abused by her husband or boyfriend in the past year.
- Alarmingly, approximately 1,320 women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends every year –more than three women a day.
- The CDC recognizes domestic violence as a serious public health issue
- In August 2011, the HHS announced guidelines for complete insurance coverage – without co-pays – of Domestic Violence screening and counseling as part of women’s health care
Healthcare professionals are in a unique position to privately screen for abuse as a routine activity of patient contact. We know that properly trained doctors and nurses are uniquely qualified to help battered women, who see them for both routine and emergency care. Studies indicate that screenings are effective in identifying those patients who are being victimized and that patients are not insulted at having been asked. So often women tell us that they wish someone had asked about their situation. Conversely, we hear from healthcare providers “what if we ask and she says she is a victim, then what?”
Womanspace staff is prepared to help you respond to that concern with concrete suggestions, including “what to say, how to say it, and what referral information will be the most helpful”.