A federally funded health project has shown measurable success in helping Native American victims of domestic and sexual violence, raising the rate of women screened for abuse from 4% to 48%, a new study has found.
Project improved screening for abuse, report says
Building Domestic Violence Health Care Responses: A Promising Practices Report (PDF), produced by the Family Violence Prevention Fund, details the progress of a project that was developed by the fund in partnership with faculty from Sacred Circle and Mending the Sacred Hoop Technical Assistance Project.
The project began in 2002, engaging more than 100 Indian, tribal and urban healthcare facilities as well as domestic violence advocacy programs across the country to improve the health system response to domestic violence.
The study found that over the course of the program, annual routine assessment for intimate partner and domestic violence of native women increased twelve-fold.
“That is because the program offered an effective response to violence, identified best practices to raise awareness, improved clinical responses, and strengthened community partnerships to help victims of domestic and sexual violence,” the study stated.
In addition to training staff members from Indian and tribal healthcare facilities on domestic violence health system change, the program developed community-wide domestic violence response teams that included staff from healthcare, judicial, law enforcement, community programs and tribal councils. It also developed patient education materials specific to domestic violence and utilized electronic health records to integrate domestic violence routine assessment and implementation of screening reminders.
Funding for the project was provided by several HHS agencies, the Administration for Children and Families and Indian Health Service.
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