Penn State Study Finds Low Levels of Counseling for Victims of Intimate Partner Violence

A new study by researchers at the Penn State College of Medicine finds that only one fifth of women who were victims of intimate partner violence received counseling from a health care professional. The study also found that only one in nine women have received preventive counseling about intimate partner violence and safety.

Womens-Health_011-cropJennifer S. McCall-Hosenfeld, an assistant professor of medicine and public health at Penn State College of Medicine and a co-author of the study, states, “Our research shows that we (as a healthcare community) haven’t been doing a good job of identifying and counseling about intimate partner violence.” Dr. McCall-Hosenfeld believes that women are not comfortable talking about intimate partner violence and many health care professionals do not voluntarily bring up the subject.

“We’ll need to have a culture shift in many settings so that healthcare providers are comfortable with asking patients about intimate partner violence, patients are comfortable with being asked, and the health care systems work to ensure that all patients get the services they need,” Dr. McCall-Hosenfeld said.

Dr. McCall-Hosenfeld is a graduate of Duke University and the Harvard Medical School. She also holds a master of public health degree from Boston University.

Dr. McCall-Hosenfeld’s colleagues for the study were Cynthia Chung, an associate director of research in the division of general internal medicine at Penn State and Carol Weisman, research director of the university’s Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health Program.

Filed Under: Research/StudySexual Assault/Harassment


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