Violence Coordinating Council
of Monterey County
PO Box 2851, Salinas, CA 93902
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Council Membership Packet:
Domestic Violence Brochures
for Health Care Professionals in Monterey County
Health care professionals are often the first, and perhaps the only, professional a victim will turn to for help. Health care professionals have a unique opportunity to detect and intervene in domestic violence.
DEFINITION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE:
WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
* For Law Enforcement and Health Professionals Only
OES Suspicious Injury Report Form (920)
SCREEN ALL PATIENTS:
Talk to the patient alone in a safe and private environment. Say something like: "Violence is common in many people's lives, so I am asking all my patients about it routinely."
Ask simple direct questions, such as:
Tell her or him: "You are not alone. It is not your fault. I am afraid for you and your children. Help is available."
DOCUMENTATION: THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS
Document details of intervention made and all actions taken. If police report was made: File a copy of the written report in the patient's file.
REPORT, AS REQUIRED BY LAW
A health care practitioner who in his/her professional capacity, or
within the scope of his/her employment provides medical services for a
physical condition to a patient whom he/she knows or "reasonably suspects is
suffering from any wound or physical injury inflicted as a result of
assaultive or abusive conduct, including abuse by a spouse or co-habitant,
must report the incident to law enforcement
*REASONABLY SUSPECTS means that it is objectively reasonable for a person to entertain a suspicion, based upon facts that could cause a reasonable person in a like position drawing, when appropriate, on his/her training & experience to suspect domestic violence.
Call the appropriate law enforcement agency immediately or as soon as possible.
Submit the Suspected Violent Injury Report form to the law enforcement agency within 2 working days. The required reports are confidential.
TELL ABUSED PATIENTS: help is available.
MAKE APPROPRIATE REFERRALS to community resources whenever abuse is present, whether or not the situation is reportable to law enforcement.
This protocol was developed by the Medical Services Workgroup of the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council of Monterey County during the fall of 2001 and the spring of 2002. Members of the workgroup who participated in the development of the protocol include the following individuals:
Printing and assembly costs were assumed by the Women’s Crisis Center, the Monterey County Health Department Perinatal Services Program, and the Visiting Nurses Association.
The workgroup wishes to extend our sincere appreciation to the many other individuals who participated in some way with the development, review, and distribution of the protocol and handout material.