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Domestic violence and abuse: Are you asking the question?

Domestic violence and abuse: Are you asking the question?

Elliott, Helen ORCID: 0000-0002-8798-1037 (2015) Domestic violence and abuse: Are you asking the question? In: Domestic violence and abuse: Are you asking the question?, 17th June 2015, University of Worcester. (Unpublished)

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This poster will explore some of the reasons women may not disclose domestic violence and abuse to health professionals and why some health professionals do not routinely ask about domestic violence.

Domestic violence is linked to a range of physical injuries, gynaecological problems and mental health problems including drug and alcohol misuse. In March 2013 the Home Office revised the definition of domestic violence as: -
‘Any incident or matter of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality’.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (2012-2013) estimated that 700,000 men and 1.2 million women had experienced some form of domestic abuse. This includes financial abuse, sexual abuse, physical and emotional abuse by a partner they were intimate with or a member of the family within the last 12 months. Approximate figures have shown that out of every four women over the age of 16 years of age one had experienced some form of domestic violence.

With two women killed every week in the UK, this has been highlighted as a major public health issue both nationally and internationally (Hester 2009).

Research has suggested that clients/patients often will not disclose incidents of abuse unless they have been directly asked about it (Rose et al 2011). When looking at whether women should be asked routinely about domestic violence, research by Gielen et al (2000) suggested that 95.6% of abused women and women who had not been abused would be happy if they were routinely asked if they were suffering from domestic violence. In the same study, 86.1% of women thought that if someone asked them about domestic violence they felt it would be easier to be more open in asking for help. Research conducted by Koziiol-Mclain et al, (2008) found that ‘women want this issue to be discussed and want to be asked about domestic violence’.

There is now significant evidence that suggests there is a high level of domestic violence being experienced with patients and clients who use the National Health Service (Department of Health 2013). Despite growing awareness that health professionals need to inquire about domestic violence, it has been acknowledged that a lack of confidence and limited knowledge may prevent questions about domestic violence being asked (Alberti, 2010).

Research evidence presented here provides an indication that health professionals need to work closely with other statutory agencies, police and voluntary agencies to provide the most suitable and safest care for victims of domestic violence. Engaging in local partnerships will promote an interagency response to domestic violence. Victims and survivors of domestic abuse should be able to rely on health professionals for help and support, safe in the knowledge that they are willing to listen and respond effectively.

The Department of Health (2013) provided guidance to healthcare professionals to create opportunities so that they could ask about domestic violence, in a sensitive manner and in a confidential space, and to familiarise themselves with relevant information and details of local support agencies, which they can pass onto patients/clients.

This poster presentation will be able to provide more detailed information about the issues raised in the abstract with the following intended learning outcomes:-

• Understand the reasons why women do not disclose domestic violence
• Have an awareness of the health professionals’ roles and responsibilities with regard to asking about domestic violence
• Understands some of the impact on women and children when the issue of domestic violence is not discussed
• Identify the skills and competencies required to ask about domestic violence and abuse.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Poster)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Domestic abuse, domestic violence and abuse
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > School of Health Sciences (HEA)
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2021 00:23

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