DV Screening Tool for HCPs
This type of screening and response can and does save lives.
While inquiring about abuse may seem difficult at first, recognizing that it is important, legitimate and potentially lifesaving to ask can help clinicians overcome their initial hesitations and become comfortable addressing domestic violence with their patients. Clinicians can help decrease a woman’s potential discomfort by framing questions in ways that let her know that she is not alone, that the provider takes this issue seriously, is comfortable hearing about abuse, and that help is available. With practice, each clinician will develop his or her own style of asking questions about abuse.
If a Woman Does Not Acknowledge Abuse: If a patient says that abuse is not occurring, but the clinician is still concerned about abuse, there remains a variety of issues which may be discussed. Let her know your concerns. Sometimes a patient may listen silently, without overtly acknowledging what is being said. In this case it is still helpful to offer some information about abuse. Make sure to provide the woman with a referral sheet or phone numbers. Encourage her return if she has any problems in the future and/or contact any of the resources that have been provided.
Remember – if you’re not sure what to do, refer the patient to Womanspace…and contact Womanspace for an in-office training session.