Develop a written policy and procedure on screening and counseling for IPV including who is responsible for screening, how often screening will occur and clearly outline the clinical procedures should a patient disclose abuse. While the new federal guidelines provide coverage for annual screening, clinic specific protocols help support the individual practice of the provider.

It is important to implement clinical protocols when addressing IPV, but also remember the very personal aspects of talking about IPV.

  • Patients who disclose may be doing so for the first time ever, may face uncertainty about provider response and may even fear putting themselves at future risk for talking about the abuse.
  • Respect any positive disclosure and be sure to take the time to validate and support the patient who has had the courage to share the abuse with you.

See elements of a clinical response for examples and scripts of how IPV support women who disclose in the clinical setting. 

Next Section: Getting Started: Reporting