Narrator: This is Science Today. Doctors
can play a major role when it comes to helping patients
who are victims of domestic violence. A new study
has revealed physicians who simply acknowledged
physical abuse had occurred and confirmed their
patient's worth, had a very positive impact on these
patients in the long run. Barbara Gerbert, a behavioral
scientist at the University of California, San Francisco,
interviewed women who had positive encounters with
their doctors about their abuse.
Gerbert: We had thought we might find ephipanies.
That is, a woman would say this happened with my
physician and I immediately knew that I was in a
dangerous situation and immediately took steps to
Narrator: Instead, Gerbert found women described
positive encounters with their doctor as 'planting
the seeds of change' and even found many women clung
to their doctor's validation.
Gerbert: Physicians may never see the outcomes
of those efforts because they may never see the
person again and yet, these women are out there
and they have physicians to thank for their safety
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.