Domestic Violence Task Force

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Community Resources

SafeHaven of Tarrant County  1-877-701-SAFE (24/7 crisis line)

The agency offers two emergency shelter locations and two resource centers offering counseling and support groups.  Services also include legal advocacy and representation, battering intervention and prevention, an transitional living program, bilingual services, and operates a thrift store.

One Safe Place  (817) 916-4323

One Safe Place serves those affected by domestic violence and sexual assault by offering comprehensive, integrated quality programs, provide safety for the immediate situation and hope for the future. One Safe Place partners have an integrated, seamless approach to service in a welcoming, victim-focused, survivor-driven environment. Beyond serving survivors, One Safe Place will create a new social consensus in the community about violence effecting families by leading education, training and research.

Fort Worth community hospitals have agreed to make available small, concealable, domestic violence resource information cards within the public restrooms located in or near the Emergency Departments.  These cards provide information and access to local resources to victims that are not identified.  These cards are provided free of charge by SafeHaven.

The Women’s Center of Tarrant County  (817) 927-4006

The Women’s Center of Tarrant County nspires, teaches and empowers women and families to overcome violence, crisis and poverty.

 United Way of Tarrant County’s 2-1-1

A 24-hour hotline for help of all kinds.  When you need help, but don’t know where to turn, call 2-1-1. A highly-trained information and referral specialist will listen to your needs and connect you with the right community organization or government agency. It’s free and confidential.

 Nat’l Domestic Violence Hotline     1-800-799-SAFE

 Local Police Department (9-1-1)

Community Best Practice Model for Domestic Violence Screening

This task force has identified that the hospitals within our community have very different standards and approaches for screening of domestic violence which ultimately results in many victims not being screened.  Therefore, we have collaboratively developed a training that will increase awareness among nurses, physicians, and prehospital providers on the cycle of domestic violence, how to identify red flags for domestic violence, how to screen and document signs of domestic violence, and what local resources are available.  Two nursing contact hours have been  provided by TCU, who has partnered with us in the development of this training.  This curriculum has been provided to all Fort Worth area hospitals as well as to the Fort Worth Fire Department and MedStar, our local EMS providers.

A pre and post test has be given to participants to measure knowledge acquisition and attitudes about domestic violence.  We are currently in the process of creating a formal study to measure practice changes of nurses and paramedics after receiving the training.

Domestic Violence (DV) is a serious public health problem, with an estimated 2 million American women physically abused each year.  Nearly one in four women in the United States reports experiencing violence by a current or former spouse or boyfriend at some point in her life.

Currently there is no standard or best practice for domestic violence screening in our community emergency departments

Victims of DV appeal to the health care system through emergency room visits for injuries related to violent episodes or for proxy care for other complaints. Screening for persons who are at high risk for violence or who are victims of violence has not been performed consistently in emergency rooms when patients present for care, nor have all health care professionals been educated adequately in the ways to ask the questions and assess the patients (Krimm, 2002). Battered women rarely volunteer a history of violence (Friedman, 1992).  The Joint Commission requires all patients have documentation of screening upon “admission” to the hospital (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, 2002).  However, the questions for identifying domestic violence victims have not been routinely asked upon entry to the emergency department, and documentation of this information is not consistent.  Most of these victims are treated and discharged from the emergency department and never admitted to the hospital.

When an individual enters the health care system for emergency care or clinic visit, nurses, physicians, and other health care providers become the key persons with the potential to identify victims, interrupt the cycle, and begin intervention (Brandt, 1995).   Health care professionals in this area must be educated in the ways to ask the questions, identify those at risk, assess the need for intervention, and initiate referrals as necessary (Brandt, 1995).

Effective Responses to Domestic Violence: Resources for Clergy

The task force held its first workshop for clergy at SafeHaven on September 10, 2013.  This training was aimed at all faith community leaders as well as lay health professionals within those faith communities.   Based on the responses from those attending this program, additional programs are planned for 2014.  Please refer to the meeting notes for ongoing updates.

Community Partners

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