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B. How Physicians Can Help Victims of Domestic Violence

Narrator: This is Science Today. Physicians who proactively intervened with patients who were victims of domestic violence, have reported success using intervention tactics which validated the patient's worth and provided a non-judgmental environment. Behavioral scientist Barbara Gerbert of the University of California, San Francisco, led this study - one of the few to examine domestic violence in relation to health care.

Gerbert: Other studies had been talking about physicians feeling like they would be opening Pandora's Box to ask the question. To discover a patient who'd been abused. What we wanted to show was that it might not be so difficult.

Narrator: One of the most successful intervention tactics physicians used was validating the worth of victims of physical abuse.

Gerbert: By saying, "you don't deserve this, no one deserves this." We think that the main message that we have - that validation is important to victims of domestic violence - applies to anyone.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.