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Intimate Partner Violence and Elder Abuse: The Basics

Course Number: 674

Role of Dental Professionals in Intimate Partner Violence

A majority of IPV cases (around 75%) include injuries and trauma to the neck and head. Dental professionals are in a unique position to encounter and examine such injuries.7

Dental professionals report a variety of barriers to intervention including:

  • limited knowledge and training about IPV issues,

  • lack of practical experience on how to intervene,

  • misconceptions about the nature of intervention,

  • fear of being sued (which when done with good intentions and “reason to believe” is not an issue),

  • lack of information on resources for reporting,

  • presence of others in the examination room (including the patient’s partner or children),

  • concerns about offending the patient, and

  • embarrassment about bringing up the topic.