WORKING WITH BATTERED WOMEN: A Handbook for Health Care Professionals


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Principles of Intervention


  • Domestic violence is a crime in all Canadian provinces.

  • Domestic violence is a serious health problem that affects physical, social and emotional health.

  • No one should be subjected to abuse either physically, sexually, emotionally or financially.

  • The perpetrator of the abuse is fully responsible for it.

  • Health care providers are responsible for ensuring that abused women receive high-quality and compassionate care from them. This is accomplished by understanding the nature of the woman's experience and attending to emotional and physical symptoms.

  • Health care providers are not responsible for ensuring that a woman who has been battered is not beaten again. Individuals are the best judges of their lives and circumstance. Physicians, nurses and social workers must respect the patient's decisions—including the decision to continue to live with the individual who has harmed her.

  • And, most of all, the principle of universal screening for all women presenting is vital.

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