You are not in this alone! Providers don’t have to become IPV experts. Developing a close, working relationship with your local IPV program is crucial to a successful response to your patients. Advocates can provide a variety of services to women experiencing abuse beyond immediate crisis counseling or shelter.
It is important to acknowledge that health professionals and IPV advocates may have different philosophies and missions, and often use different terminology that can be confusing or even conflicting. Nevertheless, both of these fields have strong underpinnings in promoting social equity and wellness.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-888-799-SAFE is available 24/7 to provide immediate services and to connect you to your local programs. The Hotline can also refer you to programs that provide language or ethnic-specific advocacy services, as well as those that specifically serve LGTB communities (note: not all communities have such programs). www.thehotline.org
The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline 1-866-331-9474 offers real time chat and one-on-one support from peer advocates trained to offer support, information, and advocacy to those in dating abuse relationships. The helpline operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and offers translation services. www.loveisrespect.orgMeet with your local domestic and sexual violence advocate to understand the services they provide, and the services of allied programs that may specifically serve underserved communities including LGTB or American Indian/Alaska Native communities in your area. Then, create a referral list for your facility based on the local programs available in your area:
- To identify your local domestic violence/sexual assault program, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline, or contact your state coalition on domestic violence.
- View a national resource list.
Click here for a list of services the DV programs typically provide.
Click here for a discussion paper on building partnerships between health and public health.