Summer Planning Toolkit modules

Module 2: Caring for vulnerable populations

People who are victims of domestic violence

People who are victims of domestic violence

Natural disasters and other emergencies can trigger or exacerbate existing domestic violence, with higher reports of women experiencing physical and psychological violence inflicted by men. Domestic violence during or following natural disasters and other emergencies may be exacerbated due to the tension caused by 'displacement, unemployment, increased drug and alcohol use, trauma and grief and loss’ 20. There can also be a disproportionate effect of domestic violence across socioeconomic groups, with higher rates of domestic violence occurring in lower socio-economic areas 20.

As possible first responders to emergencies, it is important for GPs and practice staff to consider their approach to people experiencing domestic violence. Your practice could:

  • ensure training to all staff on identifying risks of violence
  • not to excuse the behaviour when responding to cases of possible domestic violence
  • provide care that promotes victims’ safety and privacy 20.