Violence is not just one category of violent acts but in encompasses many different forms of violence including physical, mental, emotional, and sexual abuse. This includes multiple populations as well, meaning children, the elderly, and everyone in between. As stated in our Health Promotion textbook, “Violence is a concern for every family and encompasses a wide range of issues within the home, community, and the world” (GCU 2018).
The sign of abuse can vary from case to case depending on the type of abuse but using physical abuse as an example there will be both obvious and some for discrete signs and symptoms to look for. The obvious would include unexplained bruising or other injuries as well as frequent visits to the hospital with these injuries. More subtle signs would be withdrawing from touch, not wanting to be alone with the suspected abuser, and not wanting to respond when asked what happened. Again, not every case is the same and sometimes it really may be an accident but regardless if abuse is suspected it must be reported.
Every medical personnel are mandated reporters so regardless of the facility or specialty in which you work you must report suspected abuse. In my particular facility if abuse is suspected I would notify my supervisor who would then notify the police. While waiting for the police to arrive I and security would stay with the victim at all times and the suspect (if present) would be detained by security in another location. Once the police would arrive, we would assist them in anything they needed and then when the investigation is complete, we continue to address the patients’ medical issues. I have only had to do this once in regard to physical abuse of a patient by her husband and while it was hard it gave me some semblance of solace to know my patient was now safe.