Screening for Intimate Partner Violence when Children are Present The Victim's Perspective

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Although intimate partner violence (IPV) is routinely encountered in health care, it often goes undetected. Medical organizations recommend routine screening of women alone without children or partner. Separating a mother from her children may not be feasible in busy practices. Therefore, screening may not occur. Little research has examined women's desires about IPV screening in front of their children. This study interviewed 32 mothers/survivors who were in either an IPV shelter or support group regarding their wishes about IPV screening and discussions in front of their children. Interviews were audio taped, transcribed, and analyzed using thematic analysis techniques. Major themes included mothers' comfort with the use of general IPV screening questions in front of children ages 3 to 12 years. In summary, most mothers/ survivors were comfortable with physicians using general questions to screen for IPV but preferred in-depth discussions about the abuse and resource sharing in private.



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