Domestic Violence May Have Long-Term Heath Impact, Survey Finds

Verizon Foundation working with healthcare experts to find technology-based solutions.

By Elva Lima on November 14, 2013

According to a survey presented today on Capitol Hill by the Verizon Foundation and MORE Magazine, there may be a significant link between many chronic health conditions and domestic violence. The survey, which explored the relationship between domestic violence and chronic health conditions, found that 70 percent of women over the age of 21 have a chronic health condition. That number rises to 81 percent for women who have experienced domestic violence.

The survey also found that despite the high correlation between chronic health conditions and domestic violence, three-fourths of women say that their doctor or nurse has never asked them about domestic violence during a medical exam.  According to a new white paper developed by Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital with support from the Verizon Foundation and Rutgers University School of Social Work, there are a number of barriers that prevent the majority of healthcare professionals from doing these screenings. These obstacles include the perception that domestic violence is a private issue, time constraints, fear of offending the patient, and a lack of referral sources and procedures for screening.

To help address some of these issues, Verizon and the Society for Women’s Health Research established an interdisciplinary network of healthcare providers, domestic violence prevention advocates, government and healthcare technology leaders from around the world. The network will conduct an in-depth analysis of how to leverage technology to address the chronic health consequences of domestic violence.  They will also look at existing healthcare technology solutions and programs, explore how to improve them and identify best practices.

The public can find more information on the survey, resources for healthcare providers and ways to get involved on the Verizon Foundation website.