What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender. It can happen to couples who are married, living together, or who are dating. Partner abuse and partner violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds.
Domestic Violence may be defined as a pattern of abusive behavior used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Abuse can be:
Such actions (or threats of actions) may:
- Injure, or wound someone.
Screening for Domestic Violence
Patients are screened for domestic violence with the following questions:
- Is anyone close to you threatening or hurting you?
- Is anyone hitting, kicking, choking, or hurting you physically?
- Is anyone forcing you to do something sexually that you do not want to do?
The question "Do you feel safe to go home now?" is asked to help clarify the urgency of intervention for patients identified as domestic violence victims. A positive answer to this question should prompt an automatic social work consult.
In non-urgent cases, providers may utilize brochures provided by Day One and also may leave a referral telephone message for social work. Social work may involve Day One as a resource for domestic violence victims. Advocates are available 24/7.
Additional Resources for Abused Women
Victims residing outside of Rhode Island should be referred to the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 (TTY 1-800-787-3224).
In accordance with Rhode Island state law:
- Suspicion or knowledge of child abuse or neglect must be reported to DCYF at (800) 742-4453
- Suspicion or knowledge of mistreatment of disabled people must be reported to the Office of Quality Assurance, Division of Developmental Disabilities, Department of Mental Health, Retardation and Hospitals at (401) 462-2629
- Suspicion or knowledge of elder abuse must be reported to the Department of Elderly Affairs Protective Services Unit at (401) 462-0555.
Women & Infants offers monthly trainings on Screening for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit.
Please contact the Nursing Education Department at (401) 274-1122, ext. 42008 for upcoming dates and times.