Addressing domestic violence in primary care: what the physician needs to know
Domestic violence (DV) is quite prevalent and negatively impacts the health and mental wellbeing of those affected. Victims of DV are frequent users of health service, yet they are infrequently recognized. Physicians tend to treat the presenting complaints without addressing the root cause of the problem. Lack of knowledge on adequately managing cases of DV and on appropriate ways to help survivors is commonly presented as a barrier. This article presents the magnitude of the problem of DV in the Arab world, highlights the role of the primary care physician in addressing this problem, and provides practical steps that can guide the clinician in the Arab world in giving a comprehensive and culturally sensitive service to the survivors of DV.
Keywords: domestic violence; primary care; Arab world; managing survivors; physicians; mental health