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Domestic Abuse

Domestic Abuse - Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between adults
who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or
Types of abuse include:



Lifetime risk of 30% in women and 16% in men

75% result in physical injury or adverse mental health consequences to the victim
4% of women experience stalking every year
66,000 women living with consequences of FGM

When to suspect
Often have unnecessary investigations and medication for nonspecific or mental health
symptoms. Consider asking if health markers for domestic abuse. These include:

Unexplained symptoms / nonspecific symptoms
Chronic pain
Genital injuries
Self harm
Frequent surgery or A&E attendance
Delayed presentation
Inconsistent story to injuries, injuries at different stage of healing

Risk factors

Young age
Pregnancy 30% starts in pregnancy
Substance abuse
Mental ill health
Chronic illness or disability
Cultural factors:
o Living in community which practices FGM or honor crimes
o Isolation
o Immigration status
o Language barrier
Leaving violent partner

What to do
Explore concerns, ensure they are safe and reinforce confidential nature of discussion. See
them on their own. They may not want to share.
Indirect questioning

Is everything alright at home

Are you getting on with your partner

Direct questioning
HARK questions developed as a framework to identify people who suffered domestic abuse.

Humiliation: "In the last year, have you been humiliated or emotionally abused in other
ways by your partner?" "Does your partner make you feel bad about yourself?" "Do you
feel you can do nothing right?"
Afraid: "In the last year have you been afraid of your partner or ex-partner?" "What
does your partner do that scares you?"
Rape: "In the last year have you been raped by your partner or forced to have any kind
of sexual activity?" "Do you ever feel you have to have sex when you don't want to?"
"Are you ever forced to do anything you are not comfortable with?"
Kick: "In the last year have you been physically hurt by your partner?" "Does your
partner threaten to hurt you?"

Preconception history
Barriers to conception
Conception counselling
How to
Increasing chances
Women on progesterone-only injection for contraception may have delayed fertility of up to a

Timing of pregnancy

In couples having regular sexual intercourse every 2 or 3 days, and not using
contraception, 84% will become pregnant within a year, and 92% within two years.
[5] The rest may take longer to conceive, and some may need help or intervention.
Following use of the contraceptive injection, normal fertility may take up to a year to
The optimum biological age for pregnancy is between 20-35 years of age