Woman Abuse: Screening, Identification and Initial Response


The Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) have recently introduced a new screening tool to assist health care professionals determine whether their female patients are being abused. As part of the RNAO’s Best Practice Guideline Program, experts reviewed the guidelines now in place for domestic violence and abuse and recognized that it was time for the existing guides to be updated.

The Status of Women Canada 2000 statistics revealed that abuse is prevalent, with 50% of women reporting at least one act of physical or sexual abuse from the age of 16+. This new tool is an effort to increase awareness among all groups, but especially among health care professional. With the introduction of this new screening tool, brings with it the discussion of adding more content of woman abuse into the nursing curriculum.

This guide specifically recommends that women should be routinely screened for possible abuse from the age of 12 years, with a particular focus on prevention.

A very sad and sobering reality in 2006.

The other recommendations and information on this screening tool can be seen in its’ entirety at the RNAO website.

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