9 May 2018 8 Respondents
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By Bill Deans
Senior Worker (645 XP)
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Are nurses skilled enough to identify and support women subject to domestic violence?

Are nurses skilled enough to identify and support women subject to domestic violence?

Gender-based violence is a major public health issue which causes immense pain, injury and suffering, particularly to women and children. Health staff have a unique and crucial role in identifying and supporting all those affected by it” (NHS Scotland, 2009).


NHS Scotland (2009) and Bradbury-Jones and Clark (2016) argue that nurses need to 'use every interaction with patients to detect domestic violence and abuse'. However in a more recent study, Bradbury-Jones, Clark and Taylor (2017) report that, although nurses play a key role in responding to domestic abuse, their responses were often inappropriate or unhelpful. Including: trivialising or ignoring the abuse; ineffectively responding due to a lack of time, privacy or confidence; being frightened of offending women; or as a consequences of their own experience of being abused. 


What do you think?



  • Bradbury-Jones, C. & Clark, M.T. (2016) How to address domestic violence and abuse. Nursing Times, online issue, 12, 1-4. 
  • Bradbury-Jones, C., Clark, M.T. & Taylor, J. (2017) Abused women’s experiences of a primary care identification and referral intervention: A case study analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing. DOI: 10.1111/jan.13250
  • NHS Scotland (2009). What health workers need to know about gender-based violence: an overview. Available at http://www.gbv.scot.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/GBV_12ppA5-5.pdf
It is proposed that nurses are not skilled enough to identify and support women who have been abused by a partner

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