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C. How Doctors Can Help Victims Of Domestic Violence

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 leave.

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 today.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.