Health Cares About Domestic Violence
What is Health Cares About Domestic Violence Day?
Health Cares About Domestic Violence Day (HCADV Day) is a nationally recognized awareness-raising day that takes place annually on the second Wednesday of October. Sponsored by the Family Violence Prevention Fund, HCADV Day aims to reach members of the health care community and educate them about the critical importance of assessing for domestic violence, as well as the long term health implications of domestic violence and lifetime exposure to violence.
Medical studies link long term effects of domestic violence and abuse with a myriad of health problems including smoking, diabetes, obesity, eating disorders and substance abuse. However, while doctors and nurses routinely screen for high blood pressure and high cholesterol, too few screen for domestic violence.
How are Health Care Providers in Bucks County Involved?
The Bucks County Health Improvement Partnership (BCHIP) has a Domestic Violence Task Force working to increase awareness of domestic violence and to promote universal screening and counseling of patients in health care settings in Bucks County.
The BCHIP Domestic Violence Task Force is a partnership of community agencies and organizations including A Woman's Place (AWP), Bensalem Police Department, Bucks County Government, Bucks County Health Department, Network of Victim Assistance, Planned Parenthood of Bucks County, HealthLink, The Free Clinic of Doylestown and the seven hospitals in Bucks County. The task force works to increase community awareness of domestic violence and to support the efforts of tAWP's Domestic Violence Medical Advocates, who provide 24-hour response in hospitals and other health care settings.
AWP's Domestic Violence Medical Advocates, with offices in hospitals and clinics, meet with abused women to provide crisis counseling, safety planning, emergency housing, and referral information. Medical Advocates also train health care providers in hospitals, clinics, and physician offices to identify domestic violence and make appropriate referrals.
The Domestic Violence Task Force has worked collaboratively to establish:
• Domestic violence policies in Bucks County's seven acute care hospitals and the Bucks County Department of Health
• Training for hospital and health department staff, physicians and volunteers
• Routine screening of hospital and clinic patients for domestic violence
• Awareness campaigns within partner institutions and in the community
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Each October, BCHIP's Domestic Violence Task Force designs a campaign to commemorate Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Health Cares About Domestic Violence Day.
The theme for the 2012 campaign is Everyone Deserves to be Loved. Click on the links below to download materials from the 2012 campaign.
The theme for the 2011 campaign was a back-to-basics approach on how the hospitals can help victims of domestic violence. Click on the links below to download materials from the 2011 campaign.