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Screening for domestic violence in the ER

WJBC, October 6, 2011

Why would a hospital screen every patient who visits the emergency room for domestic violence? If the patient doesn't have bruises or broken bones, doesn't the nurse and/or doctor who brings up domestic abuse run the risk of offending the person? Yes. But, Registered Nurse Karen Geffon doesn't care if she offends. It's her job to ask … and it might save a life. Experts who train volunteers and professionals who deal with domestic violence will tell you abuse doesn't discriminate. No amount of money, education, religion, medicine or security can guarantee protection from the effects of domestic violence. It literally happens everywhere and in one form or another, we all end up paying for the short and long term effects. It is everyone's business. That's why staff at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington aren't afraid to ask, "Do you feel safe at home?"