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C. On the Lookout for Domestic Abuse

Narrator: This is Science Today. In a new pilot program, emergency room personnel are being trained to identify victims of domestic violence -- people who've been sent to the hospital by an abusive spouse or partner. Dr. Beth Kaplan of the University of California San Francisco, who's in charge of the program at San Francisco General Hospital, says that while the program is in directing patients to counseling that may lead them out of their abusive relationships, it doesn't get at the root causes of domestic violence.

Kaplan: In many religions, in many cultures, in the media, we portray violence as a way to gain control and power. And I think that we have to start breaking that down and saying that it's not a good way to get control and power, and it's not acceptable in our society.

Narrator: And until that happens, says Kaplan, emergency room personnel will have to stay on the lookout.

Kaplan: Until our society really changes in terms of its collusion in the perpetuation of violence -- until that changes we're still going to see the impact here in our emergency departments.

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