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