Roseanne is rushing to get ready for work. She finishes
helping 3 year old Matthew get dressed and gives him
some breakfast. She grabs the baby from her crib and
a shooting pain stabs her in the right shoulder. With
the pain comes the memory of last night. Roseanne's
husband Jack got home late last night-he had been drinking
and he was in a foul mood. He finally went to bed-but
not before berating Roseanne, as usual, and slapping
and punching her multiple times. She has bruises on
her face that her makeup can barely hide. She touches
up her makeup one last time before dropping off both
Matthew and the baby with her mother.
Her mother knows that its been difficult for Roseanne,
but she doesn't know how bad its gotten. Since Roseanne
was pregnant with 5 month old Tara, she has been punched,
kicked and sexually victimized repeatedly by her husband.
It has become a routine part of her life. While driving
to work, Roseanne starts crying. She tries to reapply
some makeup to cover the bruises as she rushes onto
the unit. Roseanne is a neonatal nurse.
Roseanne is like so many American women,
she is the victim of intimate partner violence/domestic violence
(IPV/DV). IPV/DV is actual or threatened physical or sexual
violence or psychological and emotional abuse directed toward
a spouse, ex-spouse, current or significant other, or current
or former dating partner. Intimate partners may be heterosexual
or of the same sex; sexual intimacy is not a requirement in
this definition (CDC, 2002).
Up to 25 percent of U.S. women have been
the victims of IPV/DV, which can result in immediate injury
and/or chronic health problems. When victims seek medical
care, clinicians often do not screen for and identify IPV/DV.
In fact, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force indicates
that very few research studies exist that can help guide clinicians
on how to screen for IPV/DV and manage care for identified
victims. Once identified, healthcare providers need to be
able to refer victims to programs and counseling that will
be effective in helping them end the violence in their lives.
Assessing the quality and effectiveness of these programs,
however, has been difficult (Kass-Bartlemes, 2004).
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