Celebrating Health Cares About Domestic Violence Day!
Today is Health Cares About Domestic Violence Day! For the past 15 years, FUTURES has leveraged this day to draw attention to the serious health impacts of domestic and sexual abuse. It’s an opportunity for domestic violence programs and health centers to shine a light on the important role the health care community plays in addressing and preventing intimate partner violence.
While doctors and nurses routinely screen for high blood pressure and high cholesterol, too few screen for domestic and sexual violence. Medical studies link long term effects of domestic violence and abuse to a number of health problems—from diabetes and obesity, to substance abuse and eating disorders.
The financial impacts of domestic and sexual violence are astounding as well—with costs exceeding $5.8 billion each year.
We’ve made great strides since 1999 when FUTURES first launched Health Cares About Domestic Violence Day. Since then, survivors, advocates, clinicians, researchers, and policy makers have made significant impacts, including:
- The recommendation of intimate partner violence screening in health care screenings for all women of child-bearing age (US Preventative Service Task Force, 2013)
- Screening and counseling for intimate partner violence id now covered under the Affordable Care Act (Health Resources and Services Administration, 2012; The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, § 2713)
- Increased frequency of conversations between patients and clinicians about teen dating violence, reproductive coercion, and healthy relationships in a variety of health care settings–from school-based health centers to home visitation programs. (Futures Without Violence)
- New studies show that health interventions can improve health and decrease violence (US Preventative Service Task Force, 2013)
There is, however, much more work to be done!
Here are some ideas of how you can get involved this Health Cares About Domestic Violence Day:
- Share graphics and information over social media! Check out our Action Kit for sample tweets and Facebook posts using #DVAM and #HCADV.
- 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.
- Collaborate with a local DV agency to hold a community awareness forum or DV101 training at the health center. Find your local DV agency here.
- Find more ideas on our Health Cares About Domestic Violence Day Action Kit!