Battering is one of the most common yet least identified health problems, making domestic violence a primary healthcare and mental health issue, especially for women. Victims of abuse who come into contact with the healthcare system might only receive treatment for their physical injuries if their providers have had inadequate training in dealing with the complex needs of these victims and do not have the resources or referral system to address their larger needs.
As part of an initiative to improve access and quality of care for domestic violence victims, NJHA’s Health Research and Educational Trust conducted an assessment of hospital and community providers’ current practices, needs and barriers. This study recognized a need for the development and implementation of uniform guidelines to help healthcare providers identify victims of domestic violence, provide treatment for battered patients and refer these patients to community-based programs and services that respond to the wide array of their needs. This effort was funded by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.