Health & Mental Health
This small safety card was designed for family planning and reproductive health settings. The card prompts patients to ask themselves whether they are in a healthy relationship or if they have experienced reproductive coercion—forced sex, birth control sabotage, forced pregnancy, or violence—by an intimate partner. The card is designed to help women recognize how their intimate relationships may impact their reproductive health and their children’s health, while providing information for safety planning and referral.
The backside of the card refers patients to the National Hotline on Domestic Violence, the National Teen Dating Violence Hotline and the Sexual Assault Hotline for further support. This tool is most effective when placed in private areas such as restrooms or exam rooms and may be given to patients routinely as part of regular visits, or upon disclosure of abuse (following routine assessment for violence by a healthcare provider).
The American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) share common goals: to increase awareness of preventable causes of morbidity and mortality and to provide the opportunity for people to live healthy lives by strengthening connections between clinical and public health professionals. We are pleased that the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine has devoted this issue to violence prevention.
Nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 13 men experience intimate partner violence (IPV) at some time in their life. Victims of IPV suffer significant negative health consequences because of the physical, sexual, and emotional abuse they have experienced. Elevated risks have been observed for a wide range of adverse health outcomes. Research has substantially improved our understanding of the physiology that underlies the association between violence victimization and an array of adverse health outcomes. Given the high prevalence of IPV and the associated medical consequences and costs of IPV, it is critical to address this public health problem. IPV prevention and intervention can substantially decrease the public health burden of IPV and greatly improve the health of patients being seen in the medical system.