DAP Partners with the U of M to Improve Domestic Abuse Interventions

Posted by on Apr 15, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

MHealth logoDomestic abuse creates significant health consequences. Women may have obvious physical symptoms such as bruises, broken bones, or cuts, but it can also cause sleeplessness, anxiety, PTSD, and various somatic symptoms.

Health care settings offer a unique opportunity to intervene with domestic abuse. Research actually shows that if doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers screen for abuse, and provide resources to help when needed, they can reduce the abuse a client may suffer from in the future.

To take advantage of this opportunity, with a grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services, Domestic Abuse Project and the University of Minnesota have partnered to test a system of effective intervention in health care settings to improve our work to end abuse.

The project includes several steps, including training all healthcare providers within the University of Minnesota’s Clinics and Surgery Center to screen for domestic abuse and refer clients to relevant services.

Additionally, a case manager will be hired by Domestic Abuse Project to both coordinate the project, and to build referral relationships within the Clinics and among community agencies serving domestic violence victims. The case manager will be able to help doctors and nurses become familiar with the resources available to domestic violence victims, and feel comfortable referring clients to these services.

Ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the project will allow the University of Minnesota researchers to analyze the effectiveness of this work and potentially encourage replication of these kinds of projects in other health care settings.

“Assessment and intervention for domestic violence in a health care setting is essential to effective care for victim/survivors, as often they access medical care during crisis and long before they may seek other legal or mental health services. Through this grant, we can provide them with care earlier, which we hope will improve outcomes for victim/survivors in our community.”
-Angela Lewis-Dmello, Director of Client Services

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