How to face abuse - L'Infirmière Magazine n° 343 du 15/04/2014 | Espace Infirmier

L'infirmière Magazine n° 343 du 15/04/2014




One in three British women and one in five men experience domestic violence during their lifetime, through many forms : physical, emotional or sexual assaults or threats. Disclosure is often difficult for victims. New recommendations from the UK’s NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) suggest health professionals undergo training to help them respond to this epidemic. This training should give a basic understanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and abuse, its consequences on people’s lives and its links to mental health, alcohol and drug misuse.

Nurses should be able to recognise the indicators of violence and abuse and learn how to respond to such disclosure. They should be aware of the role of the specialist services and the procedures for reporting abuse and violence. They should also ensure that people are seen individually, as family members or carers may be abusers or colluding in the abuse. Staff should react with empathy and assess the person’s immediate safety. Trained staff working in antenatal, postnatal, reproductive care, sexual health, alcohol or drug misuse, mental health, children’s and vulnerable adults’ services should ask users about domestic violence and abuse. This should be done as part of good clinical practice, even where there are no indicators of such violence and abuse.

Protocols should also be established to encourage staff to remember their professional duty of confidentiality but also to determine when this duty has to be breached

For further reading :


Assaults (n) aggressions

Disclosure (n) aveu, dénonciation

to undergo (v) lit. subir ; ici, suivre une formation

to collude (v) être de connivence avec

reproductive (adj) génésique

duty of confidentiality (n) devoir de confidentialité


1. Are you aware of some « indicators of domestic violence » ?

Connaissez-vous les « indicateurs de la violence domestique » ?

2. Which skills could help in a one-on-one conversation with an abuse victim ?

Quelles compétences peuvent vous aider lors d’une conversation en tête-à-tête avec une victime de violence ?

3. Do formal referral pathways exist in your service ?

Y a-t-il des voies de recours formelles dans votre service ?