Intimate Partner Violence
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Intimate partner violence is also known as domestic violence. The abuser knowingly harms his or her partner. This person tries to control or overpower the relationship by using intimidation, threats, or physical force. Most victims of domestic violence are women, but men may also be victims. There may be a pattern of an ongoing or on and off abuse. The abuser may beg for forgiveness, promise to change, or try to make up for the wrongdoing. The abuser may also act as if the violence never happened.
- Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take this medicine.
- Antianxiety medicine: This medicine may be given to decrease anxiety and help you feel calm and relaxed.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Injury or wound care:
Ask your primary healthcare provider for information about how to take care of injuries or wounds.
Ice and heat:
- Ice helps decrease swelling and pain. Ice may also help prevent tissue damage. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel and place it on your injury for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed.
- After the first 24 to 48 hours, your primary healthcare provider may have you use heat. Heat helps decrease pain and muscle spasms. Apply heat on the area for 20 to 30 minutes every 2 hours for as many days as directed.
- Rest: Rest when you feel it is needed. Tell your primary healthcare provider if you have trouble sleeping.
- Report physical or emotional abuse: It may be hard to report physical abuse, but it is very important. Caregivers can help you if you are at risk for or are a victim of intimate partner violence.
- Go to follow-up visits: Your primary healthcare provider may talk to you, your family, friends, or the person responsible for intimate partner violence. This may include what may happen if the abuse does not stop. You may need to leave your current living situation to protect yourself and your children.
- Get counseling: Intimate partner violence may cause you to feel scared, depressed, or anxious. Your primary healthcare provider may suggest that you see a counselor to talk about how you are feeling.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- You have new signs and symptoms since your last visit.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You fear for your life or the lives of your children.
- Your signs and symptoms are getting worse.
- You feel like hurting yourself or someone else.
- You feel that you cannot cope with the abuse, or your recovery from it.
- You have trouble breathing, chest pain, or a fast heartbeat.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.