Screening Tools - Domestic Violence

ACOG recommends that physicians screen ALL patients for intimate partner violence.

For women who are not pregnant, screening should occur:

  • at routine ob-gyn visits
  • family planning visits
  • preconception visits.

For women who are pregnant, screening should occur at various times over the course of the pregnancy because some women do not disclose abuse the first time they are asked and abuse may begin later in pregnancy.

Screening should occur:

  • at the first prenatal visit
  • at least once per trimester, and
  • at the postpartum checkup.

Domestic violence screening can be conducted by making the following statement and asking these three simple questions.

"Because violence is so common in many women's lives and because there is help available for women being abused, I now ask every patient about domestic violence:

  1. Within the past year -- or since you have been pregnant -- have you been hit, slapped, kicked or otherwise physically hurt by someone?
  2. Are you in a relationship with a person who threatens or physically hurts you?
  3. Has anyone forced you to have sexual activities that made you feel uncomfortable?"

Contact:

Alicia Luchowski, MPH
Director
Health Care for Underserved Women/ LARC Program
aluchowski@acog.org