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Domestic violence – how GPs can help

Published: 25 November, 2014

About 1.2 million women experienced domestic abuse in the last year in England and Wales, and 76 women were killed by their current or former partner.

As part of the ‘16 days of action’ campaign (25 November to 11 December) against domestic violence PHE has announced a new toolkit to help businesses support people experiencing domestic violence.

GPs have an essential role to play in the domestic homicide reviews by involving their patients, sharing their understanding, information and learning.

At the launch of the toolkit Dr Maureen Baker, Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said:

GPs are at the frontline in recognising and helping those experiencing domestic violence and abuse. But domestic violence is still a taboo subject, with a lot of societal stigma attached.

The difficulty for GPs in identifying patients and their children exposed to violence is that they rarely present with physical signs of abuse or disclose spontaneously during the consultation. This can be even more complex for patients who are in same sex and transgender relationships.

GPs need to be able to respond appropriately and safely to patients we suspect are in violent relationships but who are worried about speaking out and seeking help.

 

Last updated: 25 November, 2014

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