If physical violence, assess particularly for forced sex, mental health status, old undiagnosed head injuries, risk of suicide and/or homicide (for example, Campbell’s (1986) “Danger Assessment”).
Assess for possibility of child abuse in the home and the effects of violence on children.
Assess for possibility of elder abuse in the home.
Document extent of current and prior injuries using body map and photographs if possible.
Competencies related to interventions to reduce vulnerability and increase safety, especially of women, children, and elders:
Know local, state, and national domestic violence referral resources, including abuse shelters and safe houses.
Communicate nonjudgmentally and compassionately with the victim.
Conduct safety planning with the victim.
Refer to social worker, shelter, and legal counsel as appropriate.
Competencies related to ethical, legal, and cultural issues of reporting and treatment:
Know state and national legal mandates regarding domestic violence, including mandatory reporting responsibilities.
Know appropriate methods for collection and documentation of data so that both the patient and the provider are protected.
Know the ethical principles that apply to patient confidentiality for victims.
Recognize that ethical dilemmas often arise from culture differences.
Recognize that cultural factors are important in influencing the occurrence and patterns of and responses to domestic violence in individuals, families, and communities.
Provide culturally competent assessment and intervention while maintaining human rights.
Competencies related to prevention activities:
Increase public awareness of domestic violence.
Promote activities to address prevention with populations at risk (e.g., child witnesses, pregnant women, and dependent-frail elderly).
Promote activities to assist with behavioral changes in battering and battered individuals.
Recognize the need to establish programs to support victims, their family members, and the abuser.