Intimate Partner Violence Care Models
Intimate partner violence is a serious issue that often goes unnoticed because the victims do not want to admit that it takes place. It is a highly private matter, and people are usually uncomfortable discussing it with others, especially strangers. Tasman, Kay, Lieberman, First, and Riba (2015) recommend having a standard asking procedure, training on how to ask and be empathetic, privacy, confidentiality, and referral. People who are affected by IPV may be more open to their close friends and other victims, who can then refer them to the appropriate care facility. Such assurances can contribute significantly to the perception that it is safe to disclose one’s problems and that there will be no judgment. People should feel safe when discussing sensitive and taboo topics to contrast the dangers of speaking up at home.
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Intimate Partner Violence Screening
Intimate partner violence frequently results in various injuries and other health issues, both physical and mental. As such, victims often visit medical providers for help, though they do not mention the core cause of their problems for fear of negative consequences. Medical professionals should screen patients for such issues and try to enable them to discuss the problem non-intrusively.
Tasman et al. (2015) recommend that one is respectful, empathetic, and nonjudgmental, tries to normalize the situation, and ensures that they are sensitive. The exact wording of the questions is less important than how they are asked. For example, people consider vague terms such as ‘abuse’ less sensitive than specific words such as ‘slap.’ If one is careful and shows goodwill and understanding, they should be able to identify the patient’s issues.
Tasman, A., Kay, J., Lieberman, J. A., First, M. B., & Riba, M. B. (2015). Psychiatry (4th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.