Information for Professionals

Indicators and signs of abuse

Your patient or client may seem afraid of her partner and she may;

  • Talk about his temper, jealousy, anger or possessiveness.
  • Have bruises or injuries often, with the excuse of “accidents.”
  • She may have a history of alcohol or substance misuse.
  • She may always be accompanied by her partner to appointments.
  • Have an erratic attendance for work, college, appointments etc.
  • Seem controlled and stopped from seeing family and friends.

Supporting your patient/client

When a patient or client discloses to you that she is experiencing (or has experienced domestic violence) this indicates that she trusts you and values your help or advice.

Keep in mind;

  • Confidentiality is crucial.
  • Listen and be supportive but non-judgemental.
  • Assure her that no-one deserves to be abused, despite what her abuser has told her.
  • Remind her that being violent is against the law in Ireland.
  • Give her accurate and relevant information about services and supports available to her.
  • Respect her decisions and let her know that you are here to support her.
  • You may need to document the disclosure and any injuries.
  • Remember the most dangerous time for a victim of domestic violence is when she is just about to leave her abuser.

You can make you workplace/clinic/office a safe place for women to disclose domestic violence by;

  • Displaying posters, brochures and information on Domestic violence services and supports. See Information Resources for further details
  • Put information on services in the women’s toilets so that women can discreetly pick up information if they need to. Contact your local domestic violence services for stickers, leaflets etc.
  • Encourage all staff to be familiar with local domestic violence services and supports and how they should respond if a patient or client discloses domestic violence to them

For GP’s, see the following PDFs:

Domestic Violence Quick Reference Guide (339 KB)

Domestic Violence Summary Sheet (144 KB)