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Domestic Violence

Training Health Care Providers to Screen for Domestic Violence: The Domestic Violence Response Initiative (DVRI)

In 1994, PSR Maine founded the Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative, a program that encourages and trains Maine health professionals to perform routine domestic violence screenings of patients. Thanks to funding from the Bingham Program, the Verizon Foundation, the Frances Hollis Brain Foundation and other generous philanthropies, the training is free and offered with CME credits. PSR Maine has trained hundreds of physicians all over Maine

In 2012, PSR Maine shifted administration of the DVRI project to the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violecen (MCEDV). For additional information regarding CME credits or trainings, please contact MCEDV here.

See The DVRI Presentation Here:

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Here's How DVRI Works:

1. We teach volunteer physicians how to collaborate with a domestic violence prevention advocate to make a 45-minute presentation to other physicians and their practice staff members on-site at the practice's office. The presentation details why, when and how to screen patients for exposure to domestic violence. It further details how to safely refer domestic violence survivors to agencies that will provide shelter and support.

2. DVRI staff promotes the availability of the presentation to Maine's medical community, book the presentations, and provide logistical support to the presentation teams.


3. Two-person presentation teams, made up of a trained volunteer physician and a trained DV prevention advocate, deliver the presentation to physicians and their practice staff members.

This method is unique in the DV prevention field, and is particularly motivating to a target audience of physicians, because physicians are delivering the domestic violence prevention message to their peers. Like members of most professions and peer groups, doctors typically listen to other doctors. They share common training, values and experiences. So, when a physician volunteers time to travel to another physician's practice to present a concise, scientific and compelling presentation on screening patients for DV, the physician attending that presentation receives more than information. He or she receives the message that domestic violence prevention is a priority in the medical community and that incorporating it into his or her practice is appropriate, important and effective.