Health care settings provide an opportunity for health care professionals to identify and respond to domestic violence. Victims of domesic abuse come into frequent contact with health care providers. With more than 4 million women battered annually in the United States, health care systems are a frequent portal of entry into a system of potential services that can help victims and their children to be safe. Because of frequent injruies, health care providers are often the first, and sometimes the only, helping professional to interact with victims. This makes the role of health care all the more important as we work to end domestic violence.
Since late 2000, our Health Care Project has supported work to develop leaders on healthcare practice and policy throughout the state and to influence the organizational culture of health and medical systems such that victims of domestic violence in Wisconsin know that health and medical systems are safe supportive systems to which they can turn. We freqently provide training to health care professionals and policy development with health systems to increase responsiveness to domestic violence victims.