Domestic Violence: Would You Know What to Do?

Domestic Violence: Would You Know What to Do?

Domestic Violence: Would You Know What to Do?

You may recall your doctor asking during a regular checkup if you are experiencing any form of domestic violence. Screening for domestic violence is standard practice in preventive health exams. This question may be startling or foreign for some.

But public health experts would tell you that domestic violence happens more often than many people realize. It happens in relationships among adults, teens, college students and even seniors.

It may occur in heterosexual or same-sex relationships, or even in intimate relationships that aren’t sexual.

Along with physical violence and intimidation, it may take verbal, emotional or financial form without physical violence. These non-physical forms of abuse can be devastating, emotionally and physically.

  • Victims may experience mental illness, which may in turn impact physical health in a number of ways.
  • They may also be less able to access regular health care. For example, they may delay or skip exams or procedures (such as mammograms) to avoid conflict from inconvenience or expense.

This is a difficult subject. But seeking or providing help may save lives and improve quality of life. If you or someone you know needs help, speaking to a doctor, friend or family member can be a great first step.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers detailed information and helpful resources on their Intimate Partner Violence pages.

Source: Intimate Partner Violence,   Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021

Originally published 10/5/2020; Reviewed 2022