Domestic Violence Victims in Primary Care Nursing

Individuals exposed to domestic violence usually experience a wide range of short-term and long-term adverse effects, including health problems, impaired social functioning, and so on. It is considered that nurses play an essential role in the timely detection of family violence through patient screening. However, it may be difficult to identify if a woman or a child is subject to abusive family relationships because such patients usually tend to hide the given aspect of their lives because of fear and perceived lack of support (Power, 2011).

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It means that a nurse should have a deep insight into the issues related to domestic violence. Therefore, it is possible to say that a nurse may use the experience of past abusive relationships to identify cases of domestic violence and provide better care for exposed patients.

As stated by Usta and Taleb (2014), to intervene in domestic violence, healthcare practitioners should provide counseling about domestic violence, assess patients’ level of readiness to change the situation, and information about available sources of social and psychological support. It may be suggested that by having similar negative life experiences, nurses will be able to fulfill these tasks better as they will understand what patients may feel and which barriers to change they may have.

It is also possible to say that by opening to a patient, a nurse may be able to establish trustful relationships with her/him. In this way, a victim of domestic violence can feel more supported, comforted and, eventually, can become more motivated to intervene the adverse circumstances. Nevertheless, a nurse with experience of abusive relationships must understand that each case is unique and different. Therefore, she/he must respect a patient’s personal choices and should not insist on a sole method of intervention but rather motivate the victim to explore various options.


Usta, J., & Taleb, R. (2014). Addressing domestic violence in primary care: What the physician needs to know. The Libyan Journal of Medicine, 9. Web.

Power, C. (2011). Domestic violence: What can nurses do? Web.

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