The information below is meant only as a starting place for pediatric medical home teams to begin addressing domestic and intimate partner violence. In no way are these resources exhaustive. An overall statement that can be used to start the discussion is "We have a better understanding today of the negative effects that exposure to violence has on children and adolescents, such that I now talk to all of my families about exposure to violence." For more background on using the materials below, go to the Overview.
It is important to ensure that your practice has a protocol or action plan with the input of local shelters, rape crisis centers, and victim advocacy groups so that in the event that you identify a family exposed to intimate partner violence, you are prepared to respond.
Framing the Question
- Are you safe at home?
- Does anyone hit you or call you names?
- The CDC has a compilation of screening tools and guidance on how they can be used, as well
- These questions should be asked in a private setting, away from children, friends, family, and the suspected abuse
Actions to Take
- Be familiar with and refer to the appropriate community resources
- Ensure that parent and children have a safety plan, particularly if the abuser still resides with them
- Reassure child that the abuse is not their fault and they are not expected to fix it
- Be knowledgeable about state laws related to children’s exposure to IPV, particularly related to reporting abuse
Tools to Educate
- Identifying and Responding to Domestic Violence: Consensus Recommendations for Child and Adolescent Health
- Improving the Health Care Response to Domestic Violence: A Resources Manual for Health Care Providers
- Safety Cards
Related AAP Policy
Learn More about CEV