The Hospital Pathfinder profile provides practical advice and outlines how to ask about abuse, respond to disclosures from patients, refer and signpost victims of domestic abuse and share best practice approaches of responding to domestic abuse in acute hospitals. This is part of the Pathfinder project which aims to establish a comprehensive health practice in relation to domestic abuse and wider issues relating to Violence Against Women and Girls in healthcare.
Domestic abuse costs the health services £2,333 million every year and every practitioner in the health system will already be treating patients who are experiencing abuse. It is vital that healthcare staff within hospitals are equipped to ask the right questions and support victims through disclosure and referral.
Case study: Yeovil Hospital's first response procedure
Domestic abuse is a public health epidemic and health must be part of the solution. We must meet victims where they are. We know four of five victims do not call the police. We have to go to them: where they feel supported, where they feel safe and free from stigma.
- Diana Barran, SafeLives founder
 Home Office (2019), The economic and social cost of domestic abuse