Statistics indicate that at least 784000 males and 1.2 million females in England and Wales experience domestic abuse annually. There are indications that one in three females and approximately one in five males will experience abuse at some stage in their lifetime. However, these figures are said to be underestimated as many of the ongoing cases are not reported to the authorities.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence or NICE is due to publish new guidelines in an effort to raise awareness among those who have contact with the victims. The institute has stated that healthcare providers should receive adequate, relevant training to aid them in responding effectively to the problem and to refer victims to special services. NICE is pushing for medical schools and universities to include training in domestic violence in their curriculum’s, or at least to improve the content that is currently being used.
The guidelines state that social care and health professionals should ensure that their front-line staff has received training that will enable them to recognise the indications of abuse. They should know the type of questions to pose to aid in the disclosure of current or past experiences of abuse. These inquiries should be done in private, in an environment that offers the victim safety.
A physician at a Cambridge hospital has stated that they see many domestic abuse patients who do not feel comfortable relating their situation to the healthcare practitioners. Members of staff are not currently required to be trained, but healthcare practitioners feel that if adequate training is offered, the situation could be handled in an effective manner.
Domestic violence is far more common than most people believe. It is up to every individual in society to be aware of the signs, the prevalence and the damage this type of behavior causes.
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