Health Cares About Domestic Violence Day
October 9th, 2013
“Doctors, nurses and other health care providers can be virtual lifelines for victims of domestic, dating and sexual violence, but too often they do not provide all the help they could because they haven’t been trained to assess patients for abuse. Health Cares About Domestic Violence Day is designed to help improve the health care system’s response to violence by giving medical professionals the information and support they need to help victims and their children.”
- Esta Soler, President of Futures Without Violence
Health Cares About Domestic Violence Day (HCADV Day) is a nationally recognized awareness-raising day that takes place annually on the second Wednesday of October. Sponsored by Futures Without Violence, HCADV Day aims to reach members of the health care community and educate them about the critical importance of assessing for domestic violence (DV), as well as the long term health implications of DV and lifetime exposure to violence.
Medical studies link long term effects of DV and abuse with a myriad of health problems including smoking, diabetes, obesity, eating disorders and substance abuse. However, while doctors and nurses routinely screen for high blood pressure and high cholesterol, too few screen for DV. This year we hope to support you in your efforts to prioritize routine assessment and intervention for DV as part of a preventative healthcare strategy.
There are many ways that you can provide leadership in your community on HCADV Day. Futures Without Violence is committed to helping you craft activities that best meet your interests, resources and time availability. Examples of past participation include hanging posters in waiting rooms that advertise local resource numbers; writing a newsletter article or an op ed for a local paper; committing to try routine assessment for one week; and inviting a speaker to conduct a lunchtime presentation for staff. We encourage you to be creative!
We are inviting you to participate and become involved in whatever way you and your organization can. If you want to discuss options of involvement, email: Vedalyn DeGuzman. Download the Health Cares About Domestic Violence Day Organizing Packet.
Share your experience and photos of HCADV Day with us!
We’ll select our favorite photos and share them on our website and social media outlets. Submit your materials and photos to Vedalyn DeGuzman.
Activities You Can Organize
- Hang DV posters and place safety cards in waiting areas and patient rooms to give patients the message that support is available.
- Have providers wear “Is someone hurting you? You can talk to me about it” buttons.
- Organize a resource table and distribute fact sheets, patient educational materials with phone numbers of local shelters, hotlines, and community resources. View an example of a local resources sheet from Kaiser Permanente.
- Install screen savers on all computers that provide DV resources.
- Organize a training session or webinar for health care staff on DV screening and counseling. Download PowerPoint presentations from the Making the Connection: Intimate Partner Violence and Public Health Toolkit.
- Commit to begin routine screening for DV at your health setting or try routine screening for one week. View the Health Cares About IPV: Screening and Counseling Toolkit to help you get started.
- Collaborate with a local DV agency to hold a community awareness forum at the health center.
- Invite a DV advocate, or survivor to speak at a brown bag lunch. Download the NRCDV's From the Front of the Room: A Survivor's Guide to Public Speaking.
- Introduce the subject of domestic violence by sending an e-mail to colleagues about the day.
- Post information on your company, community or school’s website about the day.
- Reach out to your community by writing an op. ed., or editorial memo for the local newspaper or your company newsletter.
- Create a social media campaign to engage staff and patients. View sample social media posts.
Sample Social Media Posts
- Oct 9th is Health Cares About #DomesticViolence Day #HCADV - a day to raise awareness about health impact of #DV: http://bit.ly/1anZPmG
- Oct 9th is Health Cares About #DomesticViolence Day #HCADV: help raise awareness to the health care community about #DV: http://bit.ly/1anZPmG
- Did you know your relationship affects your health? Oct 9th is Health Cares About #DomesticViolence Day #HCADV. To learn more, visit http://bit.ly/1anZPmG
Sample Facebook Post:
- October 9th is Health Cares About Domestic Violence Day (#HCADV Day) a nationally recognized awareness-raising day that is sponsored by @FuturesWithoutViolence. HCADV Day aims to reach members of the health care community and educate them about the critical importance of assessing for domestic violence (DV), as well as the long term health implications of DV and lifetime exposure to violence. For more information click here: www.futureswithoutviolence.org/hcadvd.
Examples of Past Events
- The Woman Abuse Council of Toronto developed the “Health Cares About Woman Abuse” campaign targeting health care providers in Toronto-area hospitals, public health offices, and community health centers. Information booths and specially developed campaign materials were available to reflect the needs of the diverse population of women in the city of Toronto.
- Dr. Liliana Hamlett in San Jose, CA organized a “Grand Rounds on Domestic Violence” screening for faculty, medical residents and community guests at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. The panelists were: Police Captain Alana Forrest; Supervising Attorney for Family Violence in the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office Daniel Nishigaya; and Dr. Amy Laws, who specializes in internal medicine, diabetes, preventive cardiology and geriatrics. The event began with a basic introduction addressing the importance of screening and the prevalence of domestic violence. Panelists with criminal justice backgrounds explained law enforcement protocol and how health care professionals can strengthen the prosecution of domestic violence cases with better documentation.
- The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) released a media advisory to its community to increase awareness and to promote routine health screening of abuse. SEARHC’s Domestic Violence Task Force has participated in awareness events in Sitka for several years. On HCADV Day, they organized a resource table in the main lobby to provide information and general resources to both staff and the public.
- A Charlotte AmeriCorps volunteer has recruited seven Michigan State University nursing students to distribute domestic violence literature to doctors, hospitals and clinics in the community on Health Cares About Domestic Violence Day. The literature includes information on local resources, a patient education safety card, a poster and guidelines for identifying and responding to abuse.This activity was highly successful in reaching health care providers in rural communities.
- The Kaw Nation Domestic Violence Project hosted a two-hour presentation at the Kanza Clinic on Health Cares About Domestic Violence Day. It addressed domestic violence and health care workers, and issues regarding full faith and credit. Staff members from the project distribute information for health care practitioners at two health fairs to spread the word about the Kaw Nation’s Domestic Violence Project.
- Look to End Abuse Permanently (LEAP) and the San Francisco Department of Public Health co-sponsored a training on childhood exposure to domestic violence. The speakers included Patricia Van Horn, PhD, JD Division Director, SFGH Division of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychiatry; Chris Stewart, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, UCSF; Jamie Cox, MSW, Outreach & Volunteer Coordinator, La Casa de las Madres; and Blia Moua, MSW, provided excellent information concerning the issue of childhood exposure to domestic violence. The training was a huge success with 130 health care and community-based staff in attendance.
- The West Virginia Hospital Association (WVHA) hosted a press conference to announce the WVHA's support for the Governor's Family Violence Coordinated Council recommendations regarding health care's response to domestic violence. The attendees included the Secretary of Health and Deputy Insurance Commissioner, among others. Two television stations and the Charleston newspaper covered the event.
- Domestic Violence Awareness Project: www.nrcdv.org/dvam
- NO MORE Campaign: www.nomore.org
- Clothesline Project: www.clotheslineproject.org
- Silent Witness: www.silentwitness.net
- Silence Speaks: Digital Storytelling: www.silencespeaks.org
Order free educational materials for your event!
Please visit our online store: www.futureswithoutviolence.org/onlinestore.
Photos: (Top) Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians staff and tribal leaders participating in the 2012 Walk Against Domestic Violence.
(Center) Susanna Legner, OSF Saint James ER Supervisor, and Ann Roach, ER nurse, distributing referral brochures about the free DV services offered by ADV & SAS in LaSalle and Livingston counties, Illinois.
(Bottom) Michelle Eppel of Pontiac shows MRI images of her brain while explaining the negative health effects she suffers from being beaten and sexually assaulted 32 years ago. Her presentation was one of several events held to commemorate Health Cares About Domestic Violence Day. Seven hospitals and four service agencies across a three-county region in Illinois participated in the awareness day sponsored by the Illinois Health Cares Coalition of La Salle, Livingston and Bureau counties.
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