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Report Addresses Intimate Partner Violence

Last Updated: April 26, 2010.

It is important for pediatricians to be familiar with the signs of intimate partner violence, to identify abused caregivers, and to be able to evaluate and treat children from homes where family violence may occur, according to a clinical report published online April 26 in Pediatrics.

MONDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- It is important for pediatricians to be familiar with the signs of intimate partner violence (IPV), to identify abused caregivers, and to be able to evaluate and treat children from homes where family violence may occur, according to a clinical report published online April 26 in Pediatrics.

Jonathan D. Thackeray, M.D., and colleagues from the Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect and the Committee on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention write that about 1.5 million women and 830,000 men suffer physical or sexual abuse by an intimate partner every year, and children raised in homes where such abuse occurs are at risk of being abused or neglected, and may develop social, psychological or behavioral disorders when they're older.

The authors recommend pediatricians screen for IPV, either in a universal or targeted manner, document IPV assessments, and be able to identify and provide resources when IPV is detected, ideally with the input of local shelters, rape crisis centers and victim advocacy groups.

"The Institute of Medicine recommends several core competencies on family violence for health care professionals," the authors write. "Pediatricians who possess knowledge and skills in these areas will be in a position to intervene when IPV is present and provide more effective health care to children and their families."

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