Narrator: This is Science Today.
Ugly as it is, domestic violence is often invisible
until it shows up in the emergency room. Dr. Beth
Kaplan of the University of California, San Francisco
is coordinating a pilot program to identify and
intervene in domestic violence cases in the emergency
ward at San Francisco General Hospital.
Kaplan: All the studies that have looked at this problem come up with an estimate that between 20 and 30 percent of women who come to the emergency department are there for illnesses or injuries that are related to domestic violence.
Narrator: Kaplan estimates that five to 15 women per day come to San Francisco General's emergency ward as a result of domestic violence. As part of the pilot program -- one of 12 across the country -- the emergency staff there was trained in how to collect evidence, refer patients to available services and give moral support as well.
Kaplan: Our goal as a group was to put together an educational program for the entire emergency department team, and also to improve our ability to respond to domestic violence.
Narrator: So far, the program has been a success. For Science Today, I'm Steve Tokar.