DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: Implications for the American College of Nurse-Midwives and Its Members

Authors

  • Patricia A. Paluzzi CNM, MPH,

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    • Patricia A. Paluzzi is a senior technical advisor for the Special Projects Section of the American College of Nurse-Midwives. In that capacity, she serves as the project director for the Domestic Violence Education Project. Ms. Paluzzi became interested in the domestic violence arena via her work in substance abuse, where she developed and directed a midwifery service within a multidisciplinary treatment program for pregnant substance abusers. Working with women for whom the issues of early and ongoing violence had a significant impact on their lives prepared her for this current role. Ms. Paluzzi has subsequently done extensive training, curriculum development, public speaking, advocacy, and evaluation of the issues surrounding domestic violence.

  • Charlotte Houde-Quimby CNM, MSN

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    • Charlotte Houde-Quimby is a senior technical advisor for the Special Projects Section of the American College of Nurse-Midwives. In that capacity, she developed the grant resulting in the Domestic Violence Education Project and functioned as the project director for the first 5 months of the grant. During her tenure as director, she contributed to the writing of the training module and formed the Advisory Board and consultant roster. Currently, Ms. Quimby is assigned to the Prime Project for Integrated Reproductive Health. In her current role, she is responsible for integrating domestic violence and female genital mutilation education into curriculum materials for that project. Her interest in domestic violence work began in 1993 while serving as a faculty advisor for a Dartmouth medical student project surveying primary care physicians and their clinical care of survivors of domestic violence.


Patricia A. Paluzzi, CNM, MPH, American College of Nurse Midwives, 818 Connecticut Ave, NW, Ste. 900. Washington, DC 20006

ABSTRACT

Domestic violence, as well as other forms of violence against women, has received increased attention from many sectors of society in the past two decades. Estimates that one fourth to one half of all women in the United States are victims of some type of violence are startling. There exists today a broad-based recognition of and response to the impact of violence on the workplace, the health care community, and the woman survivor and her children. Public health, corporate, and government initiatives are actively seeking solutions to address this most destructive dynamic. The education of health care providers to assess women appropriately for the potential of abuse—including proper intervention, documentation, and referral—has become an essential component of health care. As a recipient of a 3-year federal grant to educate students and practicing nurse-midwives in the United States about the issue of domestic violence, the Special Projects Section of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) has joined the ranks of concerned provider organizations. The primary goal of the project is to promote and enhance universal screening of all women who present for midwifery care. The role of the certified nurse-midwife and other women's health care providers and the role of ACNM in responding to the issue of domestic violence, including future goals and expectations, are discussed.

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