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RESEARCH ARTICLE

Can screening for domestic violence be introduced successfully in a sexual health clinic?

Anna McNulty A C , Paul Andrews A and Michelle Bonner B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Sydney Sexual Health Centre, Sydney/Sydney Eye Hospital, South-eastern Sydney Illawarra Area Health Service, GPO 1614, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia.

B Violence and Abuse (Adults) Prevention Program, Women’s Health Unit, South Eastern Sydney and Illawarra Area Health Service, Barker St, Randwick, NSW 2031, Australia.

C Corresponding author. Email: anna.mcnulty@sesiahs.health.nsw.gov.au

Sexual Health 3(3) 179-182 https://doi.org/10.1071/SH05056
Submitted: 9 November 2005  Accepted: 4 May 2006   Published: 29 August 2006

Abstract

Background: Domestic violence is reported frequently when Australian women are surveyed and is associated with poorer health outcomes on a variety of measures. Routine screening for domestic violence is a strategy designed to both prevent domestic violence and provide an opportunity for early intervention. Methods: Following staff consultation and training, a 1-month pilot of routine screening for domestic violence (RSDV) of all female patients was conducted in a large sexual health clinic. Results: Following the evaluation of this pilot, RSDV was introduced in 2003 for all new female patients. Of the 3244 women eligible for screening, 2893 (89%) were screened. Of these, 254 (8.8%) identified domestic violence. Conclusions: Routine screening for domestic violence is feasible in a sexual health clinic population. High screening rates were achieved and high rates of domestic violence were identified, providing an opportunity for intervention.


Acknowledgments

No funding received.


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