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Training for nurses to help domestic abuse victims announced

One woman is killed every three days due to domestic abuse as the RCN pledges to help victims

One woman is killed every three days due to domestic abuse, with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) committing to equipping nurses on how best to help sufferers.

In a statement, the RCN lay out its aims to better support nurses and midwives working with victims of domestic abuse, according to its new position statement. They said nurses and midwives are some of the most likely people to come into contact with victims but knowledge and resources vary significantly in different areas of the UK.

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At least 2 million adults were affected by domestic abuse in the year up to March 2016 and it is estimated that 25% of women and one in six men will experience domestic abuse during their lifetime, while a fifth of children are affected.

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Preparing staff to face potentially abusive situations, the RCN reinforced its goal to help all nurses and midwives better understand their role and responsibilities around domestic abuse, from coercion and manipulation to sexual assault, rape and homicide.

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‘Domestic abuse is a highly complex issue and nursing and midwifery staff have a significant role to play,’ said RCN midwifery and women’s health lead Carmel Bagness. ‘From health visitors to A&E nurses, all nursing staff need to be prepared to identify and help victims of domestic abuse whether they are male or female, adult or child.’

A pocket guide released earlier this year detailed the ways nurses and midwives can identify potential abuse and what action they should take in this situation. Future action includes working with educators to ensure domestic abuse plays a prominent role in pre- and post-registration nursing education.