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.
You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
When you report intimate partner violence, you may feel sad, blame yourself, or be afraid for your children and more violence. It may be difficult to be away from your family or friends, or to go to counseling. If intimate partner violence is not stopped, you may develop serious health and mental problems. Examples include headache, body pain, sexually transmitted infection (STI), and diarrhea. Intimate partner violence may lead to severe injuries or become life-threatening. You and your children may feel severe trauma, distress, anxiety, or depression.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE:
is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
You may need to rest in bed and get plenty of sleep. If you have trouble breathing or chest pain, call your caregiver right away.
- Antianxiety medicine: This medicine may be given to decrease anxiety and help you feel calm and relaxed.
- Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
- Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.
- Sedative: This medicine is given to help you stay calm and relaxed.
- Tetanus shot: This medicine keeps you from getting tetanus, and may be given if you have an open wound. You should have a tetanus shot if you have not had one in the past 5 to 10 years. Your arm can get red, swollen, and sore from this shot.
- Blood and urine tests: Blood and urine tests may be done to check for health problems, such as an infection.
- Heart monitor: This test is also called an EKG or ECG. Sticky pads are placed on your skin to record your heart's electrical activity. An EKG gives information about how your heart is working. Lie as still as possible during the test.
- Neurologic exam: This is also called neuro signs, neuro checks, or neuro status. A neurologic exam can show caregivers how well your brain works after an injury or illness. Caregivers will check how your pupils (black dots in the center of each eye) react to light. They may check your memory and how easily you wake up. Your hand grasp and balance may also be tested.
- Culture and smear exam: A sample of discharge may be collected from your genitals, and sent to a lab for tests.
- Pelvic exam: Women may need to have this exam so caregivers can check for any injuries that may have resulted from the abuse.
- X-rays: These may be done to see if any bones have been broken or are displaced. X-rays of your chest and abdomen may also be taken.
- CT scan: This test is also called a CAT scan. An x-ray machine uses a computer to take pictures of your head and body. The pictures may show if bones have been broken or displaced. You may be given a dye before the pictures are taken to help caregivers see the pictures better. Tell the caregiver if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.
- Counseling: Intimate partner violence may cause you to feel scared, depressed, or anxious. Your caregiver may suggest that you see a counselor to talk about how you are feeling.
- Surgery: You may need surgery to treat injuries. Surgery may return bones to their normal position if you have a broken bone. Surgery may also be needed to correct a deformity or treat other injuries.
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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.