KEY POINTS:

  • The intersection of domestic violence and health care presents an extraordinary opportunity to intervene in the lives of domestic violence victims, particularly those who are at high risk of being physically injured or killed.
  • Respecting confidential and privileged communications is a core tenet of domestic violence services and the DVHRT; and all partner agencies only share information with permission from the victim.
  • Because each partnering agency has its own distinct role and inherent responsibilities - the HIPPA Privacy Rule does not need to be an obstacle to participation on the DVHRT.

Health care providers - often the first point of contact for victims of intimate partner violence - are in a unique position to indentify victims of domestic violence and connect them to services.  Over one third of all visits to the emergency room by women are the result of domestic violence; and abused women seek health care for physical and mental health more often than non-abused women. In addition to injuries that women receive during a violent incident, they suffer a myriad of other health issues such as depression, chronic pain, and PTSD.