Between 25% and 31% of American women have experienced domestic violence, making it the number one public health problem for women.
Because of the enormous impact domestic violence has on the health and mental health of victims, it is a key issue to be addressed by health care providers. This website provides information on the responsibilities and services provided by the Domestic Violence Prevention Program at Hartford Hospital.
Program Responsibilities
The Domestic Violence Prevention Program at Hartford Hospital has been in existence since 1994. The development of the program came at the beckoning of a long-standing task force that recognized the importance of health care’s role in domestic violence identification, intervention, and prevention. In 1996 a formal protocol was adopted by Hartford Hospital stating the hospital’s awareness of the health consequences of domestic violence and the important role health care providers play in screening for abuse and in utilizing effective interventions. In 1999, a formal universal screening policy was adopted by the hospital. In 2005, a new initiative was launched to address domestic violence affecting the workplace, with the creation of a comprehensive response to employees impacted by domestic violence. 
The Program personnel include: a part-time director, two contract group facilitators, a multidisciplinary Advisory Board, and volunteers. The Program Director has the responsibility of developing and coordinating the implementation of policies, protocols, programs and education on domestic violence for inpatient and outpatient care. The Domestic Violence Prevention Program Director chairs and sustains the momentum of the Domestic Violence Advisory Board; develops, implements and teaches a variety of educational curricula and programs, both internally and externally; establishes the standard of care for domestic violence; works in partnership with all levels of the health care team; consults with clinicians; conducts research projects, including quality control activities; participates in scholarly activities such as publications and conferences; and networks on a national basis.  
Domestic Violence Advisory Board
The Domestic Violence Advisory Board developed with the inception of the Domestic Violence Prevention Program at Hartford Hospital in 1994. Prior to its existence as an Advisory Board, many of its members comprised the Domestic Violence Task Force.
The Domestic Violence Task Force, therefore, is the ancestor to the Domestic Violence Advisory Board and was responsible for raising the awareness at Hartford Hospital regarding the strong need for a united health care provider approach to domestic violence. The Domestic Violence Task Force was initiated in 1987.  Currently, the Domestic Violence Advisory Board is the primary support to the Director position. The Advisory Board helps to generate strategies for program development both within the hospital and in the community.
The Board is instrumental in providing feedback on the current programs and ideas of the Domestic Violence Prevention Program. Throughout the year, members of the Board participate in training activities, awareness-raising opportunities, and research projects of the program. For October, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Advisory Board plays an active role in raising awareness of the hospital personnel, visitors and patients regarding domestic violence.   The Advisory Board is a multi-disciplinary team with representation from a variety of departments at Hartford Hospital, as well as other local organizations. The Board maintains a seat for a representative from Interval House, the local domestic violence service provider, and works closely with these community specialists in developing our response to domestic violence. 
Educational Training
Did you know...  Ninety-five percent (95%) of all reported cases of domestic violence involve women as victims and that women are at greatest risk for abuse during pregnancy?
The Hartford Hospital Domestic Violence Protocol and Policy Statement were developed and adopted in 1996. The goal of the policy is to establish guidelines for safety assessment, education, appropriate referrals and medical record documentation for all women receiving care at Hartford Hospital. 
One of the primary responsibilities of the Domestic Violence Prevention Program Director is to develop, implement and teach a variety of educational programs on domestic violence. All hospital personnel are encouraged to understand the dynamics of domestic violence, its impact on an individual’s health, and how to provide empowering care to a patient or coworker.  Training is regularly offered to Hartford Hospital staff, including nursing education, resident training in various departments including Emergency, Medicine, and Women’s Health, Grand Rounds, advanced education for social work staff, and hospital-wide offerings on a variety of domestic violence-related topics.
The following topics are offered to Hartford Hospital and community groups, as well as customized trainings designed around a particular need.
  • Domestic Violence 101 for Healthcare Providers                
  • Essential Domestic Violence Skills for:     
    • Emergency Department/ Trauma Clinicians
    • Women’s Health Clinicians
    • Primary Care Clinicians
    • Occupational Health Clinicians
    • Social Workers and Mental Health Clinicians
    • Spiritual Care Providers
  • Why Domestic Violence Is An Issue For The Exam Room
  • Barriers To Providing Effective Healthcare To Survivors Of Domestic Violence
  • Cultural Competence In Domestic Violence Services
  • The Healthcare Provider And Patients Who Batter: How To Help
  • Documentation Of Health Care Interventions In Domestic Violence
  • Domestic Violence Legal Issues for Health Care Providers
  • Connecticut Legal System And Domestic Violence
  • Special Topics in Safety Planning
  • Breaking the Barriers for Immigrants Experiencing Domestic Violence         
  • Identification of Domestic Violence: Rational for Emergency Department Intervention
  • Review of Research on Domestic Violence and Pregnancy
  • A Walk Through the System: Following a Victim of Domestic Violence
  • Through the  Process of Getting Help
  • A Training Series for Advanced Domestic Violence Skills
  • DV Punches the Clock: A Workshop for Managers
  • Training Healthcare Professionals To Provide Informed, Sensitive, and Effective Domestic                   
  • Violence Intervention
Outreach Education
Outreach education is another forum for raising awareness of domestic violence. Local colleges and high schools request workshops on domestic abuse and dating violence. In addition, local organizations utilize outreach education as a way of training their staff, and then separately, for their clients.
Domestic violence information and resources are distributed at local fairs and health promotional events. Television and conference presentations are another forum used to educate the public about health care’s unique role in domestic violence intervention and prevention.   A group is offered for victims of domestic violence and for their children. This group offers weekly support and education on domestic violence. Children are cared for during the group within the context of a recreational and emotionally supportive environment.