Healthcare professionals learn how to identify, treat domestic violence

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Three women are murdered every day by their spouses.  And one in three women will be domestically abused in their lifetime. 

It's a problem that can turn deadly, which is why healthcare professionals gathered Thursday night for training on how to identify risk factors and symptoms of domestic violence, and how to help treat victims.

Dr. Tina Bloom lead the presentation, teaching nurses valuable information that could be the difference between life and death for some victims.  It's part of the new guidelines for preventative care in the Affordable Care Act.

Nurse Practitioner Jaime Basnett learned new skills she wished she had known before.

"I wonder how many times someone may have come in needing help and I wasn't a valuable resource?" Basnett wondered.

Dr. Bloom taught nurses to recognize signs like injuries or a medical history that doesn't make sense.  But she said the unspoken clues are even more important to pay attention to.

"Body language, how they answer questions and what kind of questions they ask you," Basnett said.

Dr. Bloom said all healthcare providers should screen women for domestic violence at every visit.

She urges anyone affected by domestic violence to seek help and come up with a safety plan with their doctor.

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