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Medical Advocacy

Being in a relationship with someone who is controlling and intimidating takes a toll on a person. The pressure of trying to make things work can become overwhelming, especially since it is so unlikely we will have any meaningful or long-term effect on how an abusive or controlling partner treats us. Being under this kind of stress on a regular basis is linked to many negative effects on our health.

CCADV and our member programs understand the powerful link between the health of our relationships and our physical and emotional health. Those who live with abuse sometimes rely on alcohol or drugs to “self-medicate.” They sometimes require treatment for depression and or anxiety. While those may seem obvious, there are also a wide range of other medical conditions that can result from living under the stress of an abusive relationship.

CCADV is working closely with the CT State Medical Society to help physicians understand the link between abuse and our physical health so that we may better serve our clients and their patients. We will continue to help foster stronger relationships between the local domestic violence programs and the range of health care providers in their communities.

Our goal is twofold. First, to ensure that those who are living under the stress of an abusive relationship will find adequate health care among providers who understand the relationship between the health of our relationships and our physical and emotional health. Secondly, to encourage meaningful partnerships between health care and CCADV domestic violence service providers so patients can be connected directly to the support services they need.

To that end, we are partnering with medical experts to research and evaluate domestic violence screening tools used by medical professionals. The Affordable Care Act covers the cost of domestic violence screening by medical professionals and our goal is to ensure the consistent use of a single, evidence-based screening tool by all medical professionals in Connecticut. This is all made possible through the generous support of the Verizon Foundation Domestic Violence Prevention Solutions grant.

For more information about CCADV’s Medical Advocacy Program, please contact Natacha Jaboin Kerelejza, LCSW, Clinical Director, Health Professional Outreach Project at nkerelejza@ctcadv.org or (860) 282-7899.