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E. Offering A Way Out of Abuse

Narrator: This is Science Today. A national pilot program is training emergency room personnel to identify and deal with domestic violence. According to Dr. Beth Kaplan of the University of California, San Francisco, who's in charge of the program at San Francisco General Hospital, doctors and nurses will be better able to identify a patient who's been hurt by a spouse or partner, and note other abusive patterns as well.

Kaplan: When the patient has come back repeatedly to the emergency department for repeated accidents, and we also have behavioral clues -- for example the partner who's overly protective, answers all the questions, very controlling. That's a clue.

Narrator: Besides immediate treatment, emergency personnel are trained to offer referrals to counseling so that the abused partner can eventually get out of the relationship.

Kaplan: And we're also hoping that by getting out of the relationship, ultimately it will prevent the perpetuation of violence through their children, who witness the violence and grow up and become adolescent offenders and violent offenders when they become older.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Steve Tokar.