Today we are spending some time on IPV/DV and gun violence. These are topics every OB/GYN should be familiar with; IPV accounts for 250,000 hospital visits, 2,000 deaths, and $8 billion in direct care costs annually on a conservative estimate. 1 in 3 American women is victimized by IPV during their lifetimes, and 1 in 5 report being the victim of sexual assault.
ACOG CO 518 serves as essential reading for our conversation today. Important points from the reading and today’s episode include:
OBGYNs see women at risk for IPV/DV commonly, and should be regularly screening. Higher-risk is associated with pregnancy, adolescence, immigration status, and elderly age or disability.
Screening questions should allow the patient to perform screening alone, in a safe location, with non-stigmatizing language. Systems should be in place to deal with positive screening, if identified. Offering a safe space in the office to allow the patient to contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline is a good place to start: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
Mandatory reporting requirements vary by jurisdiction:
Finally, check out ACOG’s stance and legislative priority list surrounding gun violence. Be active and get involved today — this is our lane!