Domestic violence exists in all communities across the world. Healthcare services have a pivotal role in the identification, assessment and response to domestic violence. As the face is a common target in assault, dentists and oral and maxillofacial surgeons are in a unique position to screen for domestic violence in the context of presentation of dental and facial injury. Owing to lack of training, dentists and oral and maxillofacial surgeons may not be the best persons to give advice to someone experiencing domestic violence. Improper advice such as encouragement to leave an abusive relationship may escalate the frequency of violence. It may be more appropriate to refer to specialist agencies for intervention and support. It would, therefore be useful to know whether screening and intervention programmes are effective.