Domestic Violence for Healthcare Professionals

Learn about domestic violence prevalence, categories, recognizing signs, and reporting obligations in this course for healthcare professionals.

Despite awareness campaigns at the federal, state, and local levels, domestic violence, or intimate partner violence (IPV) continues to be a significant issue in the United States. Because it impacts every community and demographic group, the majority of healthcare professionals, regardless of their particular area of practice, will encounter patients who are victims of domestic violence at some point during their careers. Therefore, physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and other health care professionals must be able to recognize and interpret behaviors and warning signs associated with domestic violence. Healthcare professionals also must establish and implement strategies and protocols designed to aid in the identification of domestic violence victims and perpetrators. Health care professionals in all areas of practice can play a vital role in preventing domestic violence and promoting the well-being of domestic violence victims by assessing patients, especially women and others who are at high risk, for abuse during each encounter and offering education, counseling, or other assistance to those in need.

The emotional, physical, and psychological abuse experienced by victims of domestic violence can result in both acute and chronic signs and symptoms of physical and mental injury, illness, or disease. In many cases, abuse victims are forced to seek emergency care immediately after a violent episode. This means that nurses, doctors, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners, especially those who work in emergency rooms, are the first to encounter and potentially identify an abusive situation and provide assistance that can mean the difference between life and death. Every healthcare professional should educate themselves on how they may encounter abuse victims in their clinic setting and develop an action plan to ensure the safety and well-being of abuse victims.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, participants will be able to:

  1. Define domestic violence and its various categories.
  2. Analyze the prevalence and motivating factors of domestic violence.
  3. Identify high-risk groups and characteristics of victims and perpetrators.
  4. Describe the domestic abuse cycle and warning signs.
  5. Identify best practices in screening and assessing domestic violence victims.
  6. Identify healthcare roles in reporting and assisting domestic violence victims.

Additional Information

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 3.00 ANCC
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Mocingbird Member cost:

Available Credit

  • 3.00 ANCC


Mocingbird Member cost:
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