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Domestic abuse resources for nurses launched by RCN

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New resources to support nurses and midwives identify and care for patients who have experienced domestic abuse have been launched by the Royal College of Nursing.

The RCN’s online hub has also been designed to help registrants who themselves may be victims of this type of abuse. In addition, it can be used by perpetrators.

It follows a recent report by the Cavell Nurses’ Trust charity, which found nurses are three times more likely to have experienced domestic abuse in the last year than the average person.

The resources include information about different types of this form of abuse, including verbal, threats and intimidation, physical and sexual assault, rape and homicide.

The different impacts on men, women and children from domestic abuse are also detailed, as well as laws and information about employment support available to those affected.

Guidance by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is also flagged, as well as links to assessment tools and other national guidelines and data.

”The signs [of domestic abuse] are not always obvious and sometimes a subtle observation from a nurse or midwife can be a route to recognising someone who may be vulnerable”

Carmel Bagness

Carmel Bagness, RCN professional lead for midwifery and women’s health, said: “Domestic abuse can have a devastating effect on individuals and families, however the signs are not always obvious and sometimes a subtle observation or sensitive question from a nurse or midwife can be a route to recognising someone who may be vulnerable and afraid.”

“The new resource will be updated regularly to reflect changes in national guidance, and a pocket guide for healthcare professionals, to better support victims of domestic abuse, is planned for 2017.”

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