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Health Professional Outreach Project

New TA Guide! - IPV Screening & Intervention for Health Professionals

Intimate partner violence is associated with significant health problems for victims. Anxiety, depression, diabetes, hypertension, sexually transmitted diseases, serious injury, and substance use, all of which have long-term physical and emotional repercussions. The emotional and physical impact of a controlling, emotionally and physically abusive relationship is challenging for the victim, as well as children who witness this type of abuse. The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, one of the largest investigations ever conducted to assess associations between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being, identifies intimate partner violence as a family risk factor. Children who witness domestic violence in the home are also at risk for long-term health consequences.  

In an effort to develop a statewide response to the health risks for both children and adults, CCADV is implementing a Health Professional Outreach project. This medical advocacy program will educate healthcare providers about the risks associated with intimate partner violence, recommend screening tools to identify individuals at risk, and support the process for referring to intimate partner violence providers for follow up care. The program will consult with providers to review policies and procedures to enhance the health care response to intimate partner violence, including new billing procedures for screening. A key to this programs success will be strengthening the relationships between the regional healthcare systems and the local member programs.

Below are two great resources for health professionals:

  • A series of training videos that allow health professionals to learn in their own time frame the critical information that will help them meet the needs of patients experiencing intimate partner violence
  • A toolkit for health professionals of helpful documents and resources related to intimate partner violence

Training and consultation for policy guidance is provided FREE OF COST. Trainings are available for 1 to 3 hours and each hour qualifies for one continuing education credit. Click here to learn more about Health Professional Outreach training - Screening, Education & Intervention for Health Professionals.

This project is funded by the CT Department of Social Services.

COVID-19: Telemedicine & IPV

During these uncertain times it is more important than ever that health professionals connect with patients and clients to offer helpful resources to cope with the increased stress and isolation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. With so many people confined to their homes, we are urging health professionals to educate all patients and clients about the resources available to victims and survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV) in CT through Safe Connect.

Abusive partners may withhold necessary items, or share misinformation about the pandemic as a method of control, withhold medical resources or transportation, and further isolate victims from their friends and family. Isolation is one of the strongest tactics an abuser can use, so increased understanding of the resources available and ways to connect with a certified advocate is more important than ever before.

With a large number of health professionals shifting to telemedicine CCADV created a short script to be utilized during each virtual appointment. The script outlines why IPV is a serious concern right now, offers information on the statewide resources available, and encourages each patient/client to share this resource with anyone that might benefit from it. The script doesn’t ask any specific questions, it’s simply a way to educate every patient or client, every time.

Click below for our telemedicine script and a helpful awareness toolkit with sample video scripts and social media copy if you want to spread the word about available services:

Telemedicine & IPV - sample telemedicine script

COVID-19 Health Professional Outreach Awareness Toolkit

Guide to Healthcare Visits for Survivors

A “Guide to Healthcare Visits for Survivors” was developed to help survivors gain confidence in navigating the healthcare system. Obtaining healthcare through a primary care provider, specialists, behavioral health providers, etc. can be daunting, but the resources below can help you prepare, gain advocacy skills, and ensure that your health is being taken care of.

We also wanted to ensure that survivors have the resources they need as they navigate the healthcare system through COVID-19. When our state was forced to lock down in March 2020, the ability to get healthcare resources and supports became very difficult if you didn’t already have a primary care provider. As the state begins to reopen and we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no better time to develop relationships with healthcare professionals and ensure that you have supports in the event that this pandemic forces us back to virtual healthcare again.

Included in this guide you will find helpful resources to prepare for healthcare appointments, lists to organize any questions and needs, suggestions to consider after the appointment is over, and information on your rights as a survivor. Finally you will find links to common questions around health insurance, eligibility, resources available for different populations, advocacy agencies and more. We hope that this resource will give you the confidence and supports necessary to take the next steps towards a healthier you.

Click here to download the complete guide!

Health Professional Training Videos

The following is a series of training videos developed specifically for health professionals to learn more about addressing intimate partner violence within their practices. For questions or more information, please contact Ashley Starr Frechette, MPH, Director of Health Professional Outreach.


Intimate Partner Violence for Health Professionals: What You Need to Know

Learn more about the methods of control used by abusers and how victims of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) can seek help.

Why Should Health Professionals Screen for Domestic Violence

Healthcare providers can play a vital role in the lives of their patients. Learn why you should screen your patients for domestic violence.

Practicing Patient Care: A toolbox for domestic violence
screenings and referrals

It’s one thing to know about the importance of screening your patients for domestic violence, but quite another to conduct the screen. Learn some tips and tools for incorporating the screen into your practice and feel comfortable doing it.

Talking to Women: Screening & Referral for OBGYN Health Professionals

One in four women will experience domestic violence at the hands of an intimate partner, and women who are pregnant or parenting an infant experience physical violence at much higher rates. OBGYNs can play a vital role in connecting their patients to supports and services.

Impacts of Domestic Violence on Children

Children who witness domestic violence experience short term and long term health consequences. Learn more about what to look for and how to help.

Talking to Caregivers about Domestic Violence: Screening & Referral for
Pediatric Health Professionals

Pediatricians can play an important role in screening parents for domestic violence. Learn how to effectively screen a patient’s parent and effectively document that screen.

Screening & Referral Re-Enactment

Screening patients for domestic violence is easier said than done. Learn effective tips and tools for screening from medical providers in the field.

Culturally Specific Issues/Mental Health/Trauma (Spanish)

Not all victims of domestic violence experience control and abuse the same way or have the same options available to them. This training, in Spanish, will expand your understanding of how domestic violence is experienced.

Health Professional Toolkit

Intimate Partner Violence is a preventable public health issue that affects millions of Americans according to the Centers for Disease Control. Healthcare professionals can and should play a critical role in screening for and responding to this health issue. Most Americans trust their health provider and they come to see you because they want help. Healthcare settings are safe and nurturing - the perfect place to explore options and resources with victims.

CCADV's Health Professional Outreach Project, which began in July 2015, seeks to support a statewide response to health risks faced by adult and child victims. The project uses an educational approach to support health providers to screen, intervene and strengthen connections to local domestic violence services. The program offers consultation to providers to review policies and procedures, as well as enhance the healthcare response to intimate partner violence.

The following is a toolkit of resources that professionals across the healthcare system can use to inform their services to patients at risk for abuse in their intimate relationships. This toolkit will be updated as new information becomes available. 

Please contact Ashley Starr Frechette, MPH, at astarrfrechette@ctcadv.org or 860.282.7899 with questions related to screening, training, technical assistance or resources. If you are interested in learning more about domestic violence, please check out our trainings offered through CCADV's Training Institute or additional resources on our Publications Page.

Health Professional Toolkit

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Screening & Intervention for Health Professionals - CCADV's technical assistance guide for health professionals with three easy steps for establishing a meaningful, sustainable approach to IPV screening and intervention.

CCADV Health Professional Project Training Flyer - share with your colleagues to let them know about the free training and technical assistance available through the project

CCADV Help is Available tear-offs (Spanish) - post around your facility in areas where potential victims might see it while alone (e.g., the restroom or the back of an examine room door). Even if they're not ready to discuss the abuse, the domestic violence hotline number may be something they want to take with them.

CCADV Help is Available tri-fold - The discrete, business card size tri-fold brochure contains warning signs for domestic violence and tips for people who believe that someone they know may be a victim. Content is in both English and Spanish. Printing instructions are included on the document.

HITS Screening Tool with Background - HITS (Hurt, Insult, Threaten, & Scream) is a short, evidence-based screening tool for intimate partner violence. Click here for the HITS Screening Tool in Spanish.

CDC Understanding Intimate Partner Violence - fact sheet highlighting intimate partner violence and its impact on health

National Institute of Justice, Documenting Domestic Violence, How Health Care Providers Can Help Victims - outlines how medical documentation of domestic violence can help victims involved with the criminal justice/judicial systems.

10 Tips for Documenting Domestic Violence - a set of tips for documenting domestic violence in your healthcare setting

Reimbursement Codes - Compiled by the National Health Collaborative on Violence and Abuse, this document lists available reimbursement codes to record screening and brief counseling of domestic and interpersonal violence.

CDC Intersection of Intimate Partner Violence and HIV on Women - fact sheet highlighting research on known links.

Futures Without Violence Identifying and Responding to Domestic Violence Consensus Recommendations for Child & Adolescent Health - The guidelines offered here provide specific recommendations for assessing and responding to domestic violence in child health settings, which provide a unique and important opportunity to inquire about domestic violence and to educate parents about the impact of such violence on children. Virtually every child is seen at some point by a health provider.

Family Violence Prevention and Services Program Affordable Care Act Frequently Asked Questions for Domestic Violence Advocate and Survivors - document highlighting how the ACA impacts domestic violence/intimate partner violence survivors.

Addressing Domestic Violence in a Pediatric Health Setting - a short video from Futures Without Violence giving an example of how pediatricians might have a conversations with moms

Additional Resources for Providers

Futures Without Violence

Center for Disease Control (CDC) - Injury Prevention & Control, Division of Violence

Adverse Child Events Study (ACES)

For more information about CCADV’s Health Professional Outreach Project, please contact Ashley Starr Frechette, MPH, Director, at astarrfrechette@ctcadv.org or (860) 282-7899.

CT Safe Connect Logo

If you need help or just someone to talk to, please visit CTSafeConnect.org or call or text (888) 774-2900. Advocates available 24/7.

Si necesitas información o si solo quieres conversar con alguien, por favor visite CTSafeConnect.org o llamada or texto (888) 774-2900. Los consejeros estará disponible las 24 horas del día, los siete días de la semana.