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Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. Domestic violence may end in physical injury or death.

The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically; however, the one constant component of domestic violence is one partner’s consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other. Domestic violence can also be referred to as “Intimate Partner Violence”. Often there are “Honeymoon” periods when everything is great and promises are made that violence will not occur again, then something will set them off and will trigger the violence again. Usually, the violence escalates in frequency and severity.

Abuse includes any action that:

  • Humiliates
  • Frightens
  • Intimidates
  • Terrorizes
  • Manipulates
  • Hurts
  • Blames
  • Injures

Domestic Violence can happen to ANYONE, regardless of race, gender, marital status, age, sexual orientation, religion, education level (including the mentally disabled), or socioeconomic background.

This is a thorough medical examination done by a specialized certified Forensic Nurse trained in to perform the Forensic Medical Examination for a Domestic Violence victim. This exam includes:

  1. The patient providing consent and continuing assent throughout the exam.
  2. The patient providing a medical history and a history of the assault so that the nurse is able to determine the medical care the patient requires.
  3. A head-to-toe nursing assessment, including vital signs. This will also include measurements and documentation of any signs and symptoms of domestic violence that the patient may have had or are currently experiencing.
  4. The nurse, with the patient’s consent, will collect samples by swabbing areas of the body, collect clothing, and possibly urine and/or blood.
  5. If the patient consents then the nurse will take photo-documentation of the patient’s condition, clothing condition, and any injuries.
  6. The nurse will be able to determine if the patient should be referred to the ER to be seen by a physician.
  7. The nurse will educate the patient where to find counseling, further medical assistance if required, and other resources for safety and/or other needs. The nurse will also encourage a follow-up appointment for photo-documentation of injuries and general check-up with the patient.

NOTE: Photographic documentation is taken using the SDFI system and stored with AES 256 Bit Encryption with Passphrase Protection. Photographs are not immediately shared with ANYONE! All photographs are considered evidence and requires a subpoena from a judge to be released to Law Enforcement or anyone else. We hold your privacy in our hands and take that seriously!