Opinion

Why is it so hard to identify domestic abuse in emergency departments?

More than 1.3million women experience domestic abuse in England and Wales every year, yet many cases go unrecognised in emergency departments. Why is this?
domestic abuse

More than 1.3 million women experience domestic abuse in England and Wales every year, yet many cases go unrecognised in emergency departments. Why is this?

My final year of nurse training was spent on management placement in a large emergency department (ED), where I decided to base my dissertation on a review of literature about the difficulty nurses had identifying domestic abuse.

Shocking results

What I found shocked me. Between March 2014 and March 2015 it is estimated 8.2% of the female population over the age of 16 in England and Wales (1.3 million women) were survivors of domestic abuse (Office for National Statistics 2016).

Approximately 400 people who have attended hospital for domestic abuse-related injuries go on to commit suicide, 200 of these dying on the day of

...

Want to read more?

Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first three months:

  • Customisable clinical dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals including Emergency Nurse
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • NMC-compliant RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs