Domestic Violence as a Health Problem in Women
One out of every four women has experienced severe domestic violence at the hands of a romantic partner. Although these women often seek medical treatment due to the severity of their injuries, most do not inform their treatment provider that they are a victim of domestic abuse. There has been a trend in recent years to provide increased support to these women in the medical community.
Alerting Medical Personnel
At the East Los Angeles Women’s Center in California, staff members have been working hard to train doctors, nurses, social workers, and other people to help them identify victims of domestic violence that they may encounter in their practice. Often, when women leave the emergency room after an incident of domestic violence, they have no place to go other than home where conditions are unsafe. This results in a vicious cycle of abuse that usually worsens over time.
Hospitals and clinics are an ideal place to respond to the needs of abused women and inform them of options to seek safety in a shelter. If physicians and other health care providers ignore the signs of abuse, releasing a patient back to her home could be detrimental to her health. Those who are abused suffer more than just immediate injury. Many often suffer from long-term health problems. These problems can include:
- Long term chronic pain
- High rates of suicide
Victims of domestic violence also have much higher healthcare costs than those who have not experienced abuse. Thus, it makes sense from a policy standpoint for healthcare providers to treat victims of domestic violence in a holistic manner, and not turn a blind eye to the cause of their injuries.
The United States Preventive Services Task Force conducted a study that has found that medical intervention could result in reduced rates of domestic violence and abuse, and a decrease long-term health problems associated with domestic abuse. The agency also recommends that all physicians ask female patients whether they are victims of domestic abuse and ask them if they need services such as those provided by a domestic abuse shelter. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Medical Association also recommend that physicians screen and counsel patients for possible domestic violence.
In the past, physicians did not feel that they had the time or resources to address these important issues. Although they cannot necessarily treat domestic violence, they can ask questions and provide patients with resources that could help them.
Somerville Domestic Violence Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Help Victims of Domestic Violence Obtain Divorce
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, you have choices and we are here to help. To discuss your situation, schedule a confidential consultation with one of the compassionate Somerville domestic violence lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. today by calling us at 908-575-9777 or by filling out an online contact form. We represent clients throughout the state of New Jersey, including Basking Ridge, Bridgewater, Mendham, Morristown, Somerset, Somerville, South Plainfield, Woodbridge, and Somerset County, Morris County, and Union County.