In the fall of 2008, the DVCC developed the first Medical Advocacy Project in the state of Connecticut, using a curriculum pioneered by the Kaiser Permanente Family Violence Prevention Program and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence Medical Advocacy Program. Studies have shown that intimate partner violence is a major public health issue, and it is essential that victims in medical settings be provided with information and referred for services to advance their safety. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, IPV is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States; more than car accidents, rapes and muggings combined. The CDC estimates the annual cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $5.8 billion.
The Medical Advocacy Project promotes earlier identification of victims through the use of universal screening at point of entry to the healthcare system; provides onsite advocacy services to IPV victims in hospitals, clinics, medical offices and police settings; and implements a comprehensive educational training program for all physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals.
MAP services include:
1. Understanding the long and short-term health effects of IPV
2. Signs to look for and questions to ask when screening
3. Addressing the comfort barriers of medical professionals and patients when screening
4. How to refer appropriately when a screen is positive
MAP Partnerships and Trainings:
MAP’s collaborative partnership with Stamford Hospital provides ongoing training on IPV to all hospital medical professionals and support staff. Through the partnership, Stamford Hospital seeks to adopt the CDC’s RADAR system, a training device which encourages healthcare providers to incorporate IPV screening into practice, and then track and measure its progress in improving its institutional response to IPV victims. An IPV Task Force at Stamford Hospital comprises physicians, nurses, social workers, administrative staff, security staff and DVCC staff, who meet monthly to discuss the partnership initiative and systemic change.
MAP Trainings at other facilities include:
Physician Outreach: MAP provides the most up-to-date recommendations in screening, interviewing and intervening in IPV cases to private physicians and their staff. Thirty minute trainings include:
MAP Advisory Council:
Isabel Butrymowicz, M.D.
Donna Clemmens, R.N. Ph.D
For more information or to schedule a MAP presentation, please contact Susan Delaney at MAP@dvccct.org or (203) 588-9100.