Violence and Public and Personal Health: Intimate Partner Violence
Written permission from the American Academy of Family Physicians is required for reproduction of this material in whole or in part in any form or medium. Intimate partner violence (IPV) refers to abuse (eg, physical, financial, emotional, sexual, contraceptive, reproductive abuse; stalking; coercion) perpetrated by an individual with whom a patient has, or previously had, a personal and/or sexual relationship. IPV is a global public health concern that affects individuals in all categories of socioeconomic status, sex, age, race/ethnicity, and sexual orientation. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for IPV in all women of childbearing age. Additional red flag signs and symptoms may signal that further investigation is needed. If IPV is identified, the physician should assess basic patient safety, provide referrals, and document details appropriately. Mandatory reporting laws for IPV vary among states in the United States. The approach to prevention of IPV includes a focus on educating patients from a young age about healthy relationships as well as education of physicians and other clinicians about signs of IPV and how to intervene with patients. At a societal level, promotion of stable, nurturing early environments and relationships for children and enactment of laws to support such environments are essential.
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School of Medicine
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