CHAPTER 5Perfect Phrases for Dealing with Suspected Child Abuse, Elder Abuse, or Intimate Partner Violence

As healthcare professionals, we have myriad duties that we must perform for our patients. One important duty, with both ethical and legal aspects, is to ensure that they live in a safe environment. Three populations of patients that are especially vulnerable to abuse are the young, the old, and those patients suffering from intimate partner violence (IPV).

Bringing up the possibility of abuse or violence with our patients can be a daunting task. We may be afraid that we will offend our patients and therefore lose their trust. The subjects we may have to broach can be taboo and may offend our own sensibilities just to think of them. We may ...

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