10.3 Intimate partner violence
Age 0-9 10-14 15-19 20-24 25-29 30-34 35-39 40-44 45-49 50-54 55-59 60-64 65-69 70-79 >80
Abused women use healthcare services more than non-abused women. They also identify healthcare providers as the professionals they would most trust with disclosure of abuse.52 Consider asking all pregnant adult and adolescent women about partner violence during antenatal care.1 There is insufficient evidence for screening the general population;53 however, there should be a low threshold for asking about abuse, particularly when the GP suspects underlying psychosocial problems.1 Training GPs to identify violence has resulted in increased identification and referral to services.54 Inviting women who are fearful of a partner to attend counselling by trained GPs has resulted in increased safety discussions with women and less depressive symptoms.55 There is some evidence for the effectiveness of interventions in clinical practice to reduce partner violence.56
These recommendations might apply to people in same-sex relationships and male victims, but there has been insufficient research in these areas.
- The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Abuse and violence: Working with our patients in general practice. East Melbourne, Vic: RACGP, 2014.
- World Health Organization. Responding to intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women. WHO clinical and policy guidelines. Geneva: WHO, 2013.
- O’Doherty LJ, Taft A, Hegarty K, Ramsay J, Davidson LL, Feder G. Screening women for intimate partner violence in healthcare settings: Abridged Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2014;348:g2913.
- Feder G, Davies RA, Baird K, et al. Identification and referral to improve safety (IRIS) of women experiencing domestic violence with primary care training and support programme: A cluster randomised controlled trial. Lancet 2011;378(9805):1788–95.
- Hegarty K, O’Doherty L, Taft A, et al. Screening and counselling in the primary care setting for women who have experienced intimate partner violence (WEAVE): A cluster randomised controlled trial. Lancet 2013;382(9888):249–58.
- Bair-Merritt MH, Lewis-O’Connor A, Goel S, et al. Primary care-based interventions for intimate partner violence: A systematic review. Am J Prev Med 2014;46(2):188–94.
- Sanci L, Chondros P, Sawyer S, et al. Responding to young people’s health risks in primary care: A cluster randomised trial of training clinicians in screening and motivational interviewing. PLOS ONE 2015;10(9):e0137581.