Domestic Violence & Health Care Partnerships

To achieve our mission of ending domestic violence, the Foundation is funding a number of new cross-sector partnerships between domestic violence service providers and the healthcare safety net organizations across the state.

Research has shown that exposure to domestic violence not only causes immediate physical harm, it also leads to increased utilization of emergency and inpatient services, poor mental health,and greater risk of chronic conditions like heart disease and stroke. With the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) - which now covers DV screening and counseling as part of women’s preventive health services – there is more incentive than ever for DV and health service providers to collaborate.

To further support this approach, a Foundation-commissioned poll shows broad public support for doctors and nurses playing a greater role in addressing domestic violence. These providers can be key players in the detection of abuse, and are a trusted source for many survivors who may not feel comfortable accessing traditional shelter services. Their intervention can have a significant impact on preventing future abuse across an individual’s lifespan.

By creating new access points for screening and services, and enlisting new partners within the healthcare safety net, the Foundation aims to create a more comprehensive system of DV care that reaches more Californians who need help. To support this process, the Foundation is working with Futures Without Violence to provide technical assistance and facilitate a peer-learning learning network for DV and health grantees undertaking this work for the very first time.

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