The health visitor's role in the identification of domestic abuse

Internationally, domestic abuse is a significant public health issue in terms of imposing physical and psychological distress upon victims, having a detrimental impact upon parenting and causing psychological problems for victim's children. Figures identify that one in four UK women experience domestic abuse. However, it is acknowledged that reported rates are gross underestimates of true figures and that multiple barriers exist that inhibit domestic abuse identification. This paper reviews the literature to explore these barriers and ascertain evidence-based strategies that will help practitioners to identify domestic abuse more effectively. Particular attention is paid to domestic abuse screening tools, as research suggests their use increases disclosure rates. The paper concludes that routine and recurrent enquiry using a screening tool, information giving to all women, knowledgeable staff and supportive environments, are all potential facilitators to identification. Keywords. Health visitor, domestic violence, domestic abuse, screening tool. Community Practitioner, 2012; 85(8): 20-23. No potential competing interests declared.

© TG Scott & Son Ltd. Aug 2012. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.

The use of this website is subject to the following Terms of Use