At least two million adults were affected by domestic abuse in the year up to March 2016 and a woman is killed every three days due to domestic violence. It’s estimated that 25% of women and one in six men will experience domestic abuse during their lifetime, while a fifth of children are affected.
The statement, published today, sets out the College’s goal to help all nurses and midwives better understand their role and responsibilities around domestic abuse, from coercion and manipulation to sexual assault, rape and homicide. It also reiterates the RCN’s commitment to keeping domestic abuse on the policy agenda to best protect those at risk and improve access to services.
The RCN released a pocket-guide earlier this year which details the ways nurses and midwives can identify potential abuse and what action they should take in this situation. Future action includes working with educators to ensure domestic abuse plays a prominent role in pre and post-registration nursing education.
Carmel Bagness, RCN Professional Lead for Midwifery and Women’s Health, said: “Domestic abuse is a highly complex issue and nursing and midwifery staff have a significant role to play.
“From health visitors to A&E nurses, all nursing staff need to be prepared to identify and help victims of domestic abuse whether they are male or female, adult or child.
“This statement affirms the RCN’s long-held commitment to helping nursing and midwifery staff best support victims, whilst lobbying for improved services across the UK.”