Visits to the UK national domestic abuse helpline website increased by 700% in the second quarter of 2020 compared with the first quarter, supporting reports from the voluntary sector that domestic violence and abuse (DVA) escalated during the covid-19 pandemic. The World Health Organization considers violence against women an “urgent public health priority.” Clinicians play important roles in the multisectoral response to DVA, which has acute, lasting impacts on physical, reproductive, and mental health. Family doctors or general practitioners are often trusted by survivors; they are well placed to listen, offer practical support, and advocate for local commissioning of integrated DVA services within healthcare. Identifying patients experiencing DVA, responding appropriately, and connecting them with specialist support is part of good holistic care.
|Published - 7 May 2021