Role of Dental Professionals in Intimate Partner Violence

  • Dental professionals are the least likely of all clinicians to suspect and intervene in IPV.
  • This is unfortunate, as at least 60% of such cases involve injuries to the head and neck.
  • Dental professionals typically lack training in recognition of violence-related injuries and how to offer intervention.
  • Barriers to Intervention Reporting by Dental Professionals:
    • Limited knowledge of 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 a partner or a child in examination room.
    • Concerns about offending patient.
    • Embarrassment about bringing up the topic.1