WomensLaw serves and supports all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.

About Abuse

Doctors and Health Care Workers

March 12, 2018

There is a vast amount of information on the Internet for health care professionals treating patients they suspect may be victims of domestic violence or sexual assault. The following links offer a helpful place to start. Please feel free to Contact Us with any additional questions.

For Survivors: If you are victim of domestic violence and you have injuries to your head, face, neck or teeth as a result of the violence, or you have scars or need other reconstructive surgeries due to injuries you received, you may be able to get connected to a doctor through the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s Cosmetic and Reconstructive Support Program. Another free program that assists men and women in need of dental work due to domestic violence is the Give Back a Smile (GBAS) program.

If you are a medical professional who is interested in learning more about legal requirements and guidelines for healthcare professionals working with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, the following links might be helpful:

American Medical Association Diagnostic and Treatment Guidelines on Domestic Violence
Physicians’ guidelines on how to assess and treat violence and abuse.

National Consensus Guidelines to Identifying and Responding to Domestic Violence Victimization in Health Care Settings
Publication discussing effective responses to victims of domestic violence in health care settings and offers recommendations on whom to screen, how often and in what settings.

National Institute of Justice: Documenting Domestic Violence
How health care providers can help victims by documenting the abuse.

Building Bridges between Domestic Violence Advocates and Health Care Providers
How healthcare professional and domestic violence advocates can better work together to help victims.

Intimate Partner Violence Screening for Pregnant Women
Programs and tools published by the Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality for healthcare professionals working with victims of domestic violence.

Improving the Health Care Response to Domestic Violence: A Resource Manual for Health Care Providers
Educate practitioners on: the dynamics of domestic violence; screening, identification, assessment and intervention; and interventions with batterers. Provide practical tools including a Model Hospital Intervention packet outlining effective protocols and sample forms for screening, domestic violence/abuse assessment, documentation, safety planning and discharge.

For additional questions or to get materials, you can contact Futures Without Violence, which serves as the National Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence. They provide personalized technical assistance to domestic and sexual violence advocates and to health care practitioners, administrators and systems, students, policy makers, and others at all levels as they improve health care’s response to domestic violence.

Please note that we are not affiliated with any of the above organizations and cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information contained on these sites.