6 Mar 2018 No respondents
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By Bill Deans
Senior Worker (649 XP)
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Can nurses support women who have been psychologically abused?

Can nurses support women who have been psychologically abused?

The Scottish Government has recently approved the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill, which is being hailed by many as a landmark in addressing domestic violence. The Bill creates a specific offence of ''abusive behaviour towards a partner or ex-partner'', including psychological abuse - such as coercive and controlling behaviour.

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) reported 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. 



  1. Bradbury-Jones, C. & Clark, M.T. (2016) How to address domestic violence and abuse. Nursing Times, online issue, 12, 1-4. 
  2. 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
It is proposed that nurses will not be able to support women who have been psychologically abused