Relationship Violence & Working Together Towards a Violence Free Society (2023)

Sheila Early

Key Messages

  • It is well recognized that RV is a healthcare issue.
  • This chapter provides the historical perspective of Forensic Nursing and its role in changing the healthcare response to RV over the last five decades. These roles navigate the complexities associated with intersections between the health care and justice systems while attending to the assessment and treatment of trauma, and/or death of victims and perpetrators of violence, criminal activity and traumatic accidents.
  • The role development of the Forensic Nurse Examiners highlights how a change in healthcare response to the individual who has been subjected to sexual violence, has led to changed responses in RV including child maltreatment, elder maltreatment, intimate partner violence, interpersonal violence, human trafficking, care of perpetrators of violence and trauma.
  • The future shows promise for even more changes in the healthcare response to RV with increased emphasis on the value of forensic nursing science and forensic science in educating on best practices for the forensic patient populations they care for daily.

Relationship violence is any form of physical, emotional, spiritual and financial abuse, negative social control or coercion that is suffered by anyone that has a bond or relationship with the offender. In the literature, we find words such as intimate partner violence (IPV), neglect, dating violence, family violence, battery, child neglect, child abuse, bullying, seniors or elder abuse, male violence, stalking, cyberbullying, strangulation, technology-facilitated coercive control, honour killing, female genital mutilation gang violence and workplace violence. In couples, violence can be perpetrated by women and men in opposite-sex relationships (Carney et al., 2007), within same-sex relationships (Rollè et al., 2018) and in relationships where the victim is LGBTQ2SIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, Two-Spirit, intersex and asexual plus (The Scottish Trans Alliance, 2010; Rollè et al., 2018). Relationship violence is a result of multiple impacts such as taken for granted inequalities, policies and practices that accept sexism, racism, ageism, xenophobia and homophobia. It can span the entire age spectrum. It may start in-utero and end with death. This chapter discusses the role of the Forensic Nurse Examiner in RV.

In Canada, Forensic Nursing (FN) is an area of nursing that the majority of health care providers and the general public are not familiar with. The provision of health care to those who have undergone violence and trauma as well as being victims of crimes with legal implications has not been at the forefront of nursing as we know it in Canada. Ironically, the first aspects of Forensic Nursing started in Canada in 1975 when Dr. John Butt, a forensic pathologist in Calgary, Alberta hired registered nurses to work as death investigators in the Medical Examiner’s Office (American Nurses Association and International Association of Forensic Nurses [ANA & IAFN]; Pakosh, 2016). Dr. Butt concluded in a five-year study that “the registered nurse provided the qualities and professionalism essential to a scientific, social and cultural investigation of death” (Pakosh 2016, p. 528).

So, what exactly is Forensic Nursing? There are many definitions that have evolved since the 1990’s when the area of nursing expanded into mainstream nursing. In 1991, Virginia Lynch, a forensic nursing pioneer, stated forensic nursing is

[…]the application of the forensic aspects of healthcare that are combined with the bio/psycho/social/spiritual education of the registered nurse in the scientific investigation and the treatment of trauma, and/or death of victims and perpetrators of violence, criminal activity and traumatic accidents. The forensic nurse provides direct services to individual clients, consultation services to nursing, medical and law-related agencies, as well as providing expert court testimony in areas dealing with questioned death investigation processes, adequacy of services, delivery and specialized diagnosis of specific conditions related to nursing (Lynch 1991).

The International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN), formed in 1992, currently uses the following definition of Forensic Nursing: “the practice of nursing globally when health and legal systems intersect (IAFN, 2009)

Similarly, the definition accepted by the Canadian Forensic Nurses Association (CFNA) refers to,

(Video) New approach to prevent domestic violence

[…] the application of the forensic aspects of health care combined with the biopsychosocial education of the registered nurse in the scientific investigation and treatment of trauma, and or death of victims and perpetrators of violence, criminal activity, and traumatic accidents within the clinical or community institution (CFNA, 2020).

How Forensic Nursing Changed Canadian Healthcare

Forensic Nursing has changed how healthcare responds to specific patient populations, particularly in the settings relating to relationship violence, child maltreatment, elder care, intentional and unintentional trauma investigation, death investigation, corrections and, of course, public health settings. Forensic nursing, using forensic nursing science, forensic science, and overlaying justice systems has added a long-overlooked dimension to health care. Patients/clients not only deserve the best healthcare response to their individual circumstances but also the best forensic nursing care available to them. The Justice System depends on healthcare providers to contribute their healthcare expertise to the case at hand, whether it is within the criminal or civil systems. Often, this expertise left gaps that forensic nursing is filling and will continue to fill over the next decades. The goal is to provide the patient/client with the best outcomes possible for each individual.

Forensic Nursing History in Canada

In order to understand Forensic Nursing’s impact on the healthcare systems in changing the response to relationship violence and other areas of violence and trauma in Canada, one has to look briefly at the history of this area as it has evolved since 1975. It was a slow start until the early 1990’s as most of the progress was based in the United States of America (USA) in the area of sexual violence. In Canada, a few nurses worked as death investigators, a large number of nurses worked in Corrections like prisons or specialized forensic psychiatric units and emergency department physicians and nurses managed acute episodes of relationship violence (IPV, child maltreatment, elder maltreatment), as well as intentional and unintentional trauma. Forensic and legal components to care for the individual were not considered the purview of the health system and only medical/nursing care was the priority.

In 1992, in two different Canadian locations, the long-standing issue of care of the adolescent/adult patient who presented with a post-sexual event to acute care became a target for change. In Winnipeg, Manitoba and Surrey, British Columbia, two pilot projects were championed by a Nurse Educator, Sheila Early (Surrey) and Beth Ariss, an Emergency Nurse (Winnipeg). The funding for the Surrey pilot was obtained by Sandi Schenstead, Nurse Manager of the Emergency Department (ED) at Surrey Memorial Hospital. The impetus was to change the current care of these individuals within the context of the ED. For decades, these patients were routinely subjected to delays and limited interventions of care for a variety of reasons:

      • Triaged as non-urgent (often because there were no immediate physical injuries)
      • Provision of care was by a physician and physicians were not always available 24/7 in EDs
      • Nurses provided nursing care only and could not collect samples
      • Law enforcement interviews withpatients prior to bringing the patient for medical care
      • Transportation was not always available for the patient
      • Education was limited in medical and nursing curricula regarding sexual assault in general and forensic components to care in particular

The two pilot projects were formed to develop a new caregiver role for nursing. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) were registered nurses who were specifically educated to care for the medical, legal and forensic aspects for individuals presenting the post-sexual event. These nurses underwent an extensive education and practicum program in order to qualify for this new role in Canadian nursing. The role was based on existing programs in the USA, which had sprung up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Amarillo, Texas and Memphis, Tennessee, in the mid-1980s to 1990s. The two pioneer programs commenced in late 1993 and early 1994. They were the forerunners for approximately 60+ established programs that exist in eight of the ten Canadian provinces today. Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have established Provincial Nurse Examiner networks with Ontario’s 36 Centres spanning the province. To read more about the Ontario Network of Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Treatment Centres, click here.

Understanding Forensic Nursing and its Impact on Relationship Violence (and other forms of violence and trauma)

In chapter 16 of the ‘The Lawyer’s Guide to the Forensic Sciences” (Pakosh, 2016), Early states that “the forensic nurse (FN) must be prepared to handle a variety of situations and patients, as the expertise of the FN may be helpful in the investigation of a range of offences including sexual abuse, intimate partner violence and human trafficking” (p. 530). The role of the FN in acute care expanded gradually with the advent of the SANE within EDs. Slowly, the realization came about that the specialized skills possessed by these nurses could be useful in many other areas within the ED. Obviously, any form of RV including intimate partner violence, child maltreatment, elder maltreatment, intentional and unintentional incidents of violence and trauma were among the “forensic patient population” (Henderson et al., 2012) that could benefit from the FN’s skills. Unfortunately, the FNs mandate initially only included competent adolescents/adults who presented post a stated non-consensual sexual event. So the RV/IPV/DV patient was not offered the services of the FN unless there was a sexual event as well. Gradually, the examination and documentation skills of the FN were recognized as useful in RV cases. Changes in other areas of RV have progressed over the last two decades. The table below shows what the care for victims of violence was before the mid-1990s and is currently.

Table 11.1 Changes in Healthcare Response to Relationship Violence: Forensic Nursing acting as a Change Agent (1992-present) Adapted from Early (April 17, 2015). Forensic Nursing: Game Changer in Healthcare (presentation). American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants National Conference. Indianapolis, Indiana.

HistoricallyEvolved to the Present
Medical and nursing education curricula did not include in-depth knowledge on the care for patients who presented post-sexual violence, domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse (RV).Violence across lifespan education is available at post-secondary educational facilities. British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) offers a Graduate Certificate in Forensic Health Sciences and undergraduate courses are available in other educational institutions in Canada.
Patients presenting post a non-consensual sexual event waited in acute care settings for varying lengths of time, often hours. They were cared for by professionals who had little or no experience in assessment of sexual violence, recognition of significant injuries, forensic sample collections or documentation of findings.Specialized healthcare response teams in centers respond within 0 -60 minutes to provide best practice medical and forensic care based on the individual’s needs. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner/ Forensic Nurse Examiners Programs are present in 8/10 provinces in Canada and approximately 800 programs in the USA by 2016 (Office for Victims of Crime [OVC], n.d.). Community agencies collaborate with acute care programs to provide resources before, during and after medical interventions to provide additional services to survivors who have a variety of needs beyond acute interventions. The Victoria Sexual Assault Center in Victoria, B.C. is the only community-based examination center in Canada opening in 2016 with FN’s on call to the site.Avalon Sexual Assault Centre in Halifax, N.S. began operational control as Canada’s only community-based service employing FNs to work in partnership with three local hospitals EDs providing direct patient care. A previous SANE pilot project had failed even though it had run from 1997 to 2000.
IPV/DV/RV patients presenting to an ED for care were often not recognized as having intentional injuries vs. non-intentional injuries. The patient’s history did not always fit with the physical findings in many cases. Patients were treated for physical findings with minimal documentation. Many were seen in EDs frequently for ‘accidental injuries”.Specialized screening tools for IPV/DV/RV identification are available to identify high-risk patients. Many such tools are utilized in EDs across Canada. At one point universal screening of all patients presenting to EDs took place. As education increased on the identification of RV patients, the tools have been in less use.
Healthcare costs of IPV/DV have been identified in numerous studies as documented in chapter 5 increasing the desire to identify and treat the causes of RV on a public health level.
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Child maltreatment/abuse often undetected and treated as unintentional injuries as an awareness of the differences between intentional and unintentional injuries was not always included in educational curricula. The availability of social workers in the ED was limited to larger centers and follow up not always available.Along with mandatory reporting of child maltreatment/abuse (see Chapter 9 for pertinent legislation) came more education on intentional injuries and social workers became part of the ED team. Community follow up was linked to acute care visits. Specialized child abuse teams both acute and non-acute developed. FNs were educated in pediatric acute sexual abuse care and added this mandate to the existing Adolescent/Adult teams in many provinces in the mid-2000s. Post-secondary pediatric sexual abuse education became available for both medical and nursing professionals online at BCIT (2013).
In care deaths (acute and non-acute) were not always preserved intact as HCP (healthcare professional) awareness of legal implications was lacking. Deaths such as suicide/homicide/foul play may have been attributed to natural causes.
Medical Examiners were required to have a medical background; however, Coroners were not always required to have medical knowledge. In rural areas, Coroners might be non-professionals for example.
Death scenes are preserved intact by HCP who are educated in the importance of not altering a scene until legally allowed to do so.
In provinces with Coroner’s system, RNs now bring nursing science expertise to the Coroner role. For several years, the Chief Coroner of Saskatchewan was a Registered Psychiatric Nurse. In Ontario’s Office of the Chief Coroner, a Nurse Practitioner (NP), a former forensic nurse examiner serves as Provincial Nurse Manager, Chair of the Domestic Violence Death Review Committee and has R.N.s as Coroner investigators.
Health care professional’s awareness of laws governing their professions and practice has been evolving past 50 years.Many laws and statutes must be adhered to by HCPs. Provincial laws have changed over the decades and now include, but are not limited to: Information and Privacy acts, Infants Act, Health Professions Act, Criminal Code of Canada, For a more detailed description of such laws see Chapter 4. For the FN, the Criminal Code of Canada is an integral part of their education.
Educational aspects of forensic nursing not included in basic, post-secondary nursing and continuing education after the emergence of the subspecialty in the 1990s.Currently, several post-secondary educational institutions offer post-secondary education including certificates and degrees. Continuing education in forensic nursing and medicine and forensic science are also offered in a variety of formats in North America and globally. To access the list of offerings, click here.
Prior to 1994 in Canada, an RN testifying in the Criminal Justice Sexual Assault charge case was not recognized as an Expert witness. The RN provided fact testimony without the opinion testimony an Expert is able to provide.Since 1994, the FN Examiners have been frequently deemed an Expert witness in many provinces in Canada “In Surrey, British Columbia. the forensic nurse examiner testifying as an expert in sexual violence routinely provides opinion evidence in criminal cases involving children, adolescents and adults” (Pakosh 2016). The move to forensic nurse-based care for sexual violence has been validated as a viable and important tool for Crown in the justice systems of Canada.
Documentation of findings in RV by HCPs caring for patients was not consistently complete, accurate and objective in medical/nursing charting and reports.“Written documentation in the ED or acute care record also needs to be viewed as valuable evidence and must be free of bias and subjectivity” ( Constantino et al., 2013, p.320) With increased education on documentation which meets the needs for both healthcare and medico-legal documentation the care provided to the RV patient becomes a principle tool of that care. Defining medical terms consistently and using them correctly (for example difference between a cut and a laceration) and recording “all observations, interactions, and outcomes between the FN and the patient” (Pakosh 2016, p.541) has become best practice. Documentation may take many forms including the use of standardized forms, video, photography and body maps. A Canadian Forensic Nurse. Cathy Carter-Snell developed a documentation tool called “BALDSTEP” to aid documentation of bruises, abrasions, lacerations, deformities, swelling, tenderness, erythema, and patterned injury (Pakosh 2016).
Elder maltreatment/abuse in healthcare settings might not be recognized for similar reasons as RV in general. Lack of education, lack of knowledge on what constitutes maltreatment, even the definitions themselves were not clearly defined. Lynch stated in 2011 “elder maltreatment and neglect is dangerously underdiagnosed and underreported” (Lynch 2011 p. 355)Lynch also stated that “it is the forensic nurse’s professional responsibility to identify and appropriately intervene in elder maltreatment cases” (Lynch 2011, p. 365). Consequently, ED and acute care units became more responsive to the elder patient presenting with overt and covert symptoms of neglect and/or abuse including sexual abuse. Awareness of the multiple forms of elder maltreatment in healthcare education and the general public has resulted in the identification and assessment of cases that previously may have been missed.

The previous table highlights significant changes in how the healthcare response to RV and other forms of violence and trauma has changed over the last three decades. There are certainly more changes that have not been documented in this chapter as they relate to conceptual change other than RV. They include the premise that perpetrators of violence and/or crimes have the same healthcare and medico-legal rights as victims and require the same objectivity and neutrality in their care. The healthcare professional is not a determiner of guilt or innocence.

Healthcare Change for Victims of Sexual Assault

More importantly, how has the healthcare response changed the care of the individual who has been the victim of a non-consensual sexual event? (Sexual assault is a crime under the Criminal Code of Canada but not a medical diagnosis see chapter 9 for Sections of Criminal Code relating to sexual assault). Read about service providers and their roles in chapter 10 to see that there are community and healthcare based responses that did not exist in the historical past.

      • Patients are provided with the information and resources to make informed decisions on what services and care are available to them (please note this is for competent adolescents and adults, competent being the keyword).
      • The decision as to whether or not they report the incident to law enforcement is still currently only theirs to make. In the USA, there is mandatory reporting of sexual violence in California for example.
      • Healthcare of the individual is not based on whether law enforcement is involved or not.
      • Patients usually have the choice of having forensic samples collected and stored for varying periods of time. For example, in B.C. samples collected may be stored for up to one year by specialized forensic nursing units.
      • The health and well being of the individual always comes as the first priority. For example, if collecting a forensic sample interferes with life-threatening procedures, that collection is deferred. However, documentation of all findings and observations continues to be valuable even when there is not a collection of forensic samples.
      • Patients have supports available to them prior to accessing healthcare, during the process and after by any number of community agencies that have developed since the 1970s. It is not uncommon for patients to hug their FN caregiver at the end of an extensive medical-forensic examination.1
      • If legal proceedings become part of the individual’s process, the FN is available to provide testimony as either a fact or expert witness as part of their ongoing role. With an extensive education in court and legal proceedings, the FN is well equipped to provide the court information to guide in the determination of a legal outcome.
      • Holistic care is best practice for all victims and perpetrators of any form of RV. “Early screening, identification and treatment of intimate partner violence patients can help break often serious and deadly cycles of violence” (Lynch 2011, p. 370).

Studies and published articles over the last two decades validate that healthcare response to RV needed to change its response to the individual patient’s medical and forensic needs. Here are just a few pertinent studies:

(Video) Why domestic violence victims don't leave | Leslie Morgan Steiner

Shared decision making – as a better approach to the care HCPs (Healthcare Professionals) provide to patients/clients. This refers to providing the individual with information and resources in order that they make the best-informed decision appropriate for that individual at that particular time. According to Mohammed & Montori (2015), this approach is not taught in medical schools. Studies do show patients want more information than HCPs may have provided in the past. Today, the internet seems to be the “second opinion” with sometimes drastic negative effects. So, the FN is in a position to provide a patient with appropriate information and resources and take the time to assist rather than direct a patient to their decision. The FN is dedicated to that particular patient so clinical time is not the drawback it is within a busy and sometimes overwhelming ED. To learn more, watch the video, click here (Mohammed & Montori, 2015).

Canadian Emergency Department Survey – published in 2008 by McClennan, Worster and McMillan, the survey wanted to determine how many Canadian EDs used universal screening tools and intervention policies and procedures over a 10 year period. The results were compared to a 1994 study to see if research and education regarding IPV were instrumental in integrating changes in the healthcare response to IPV. The survey concluded thatdespite increased research into IPV issues, there was no significant change between 1994 and 2004 in the existence of IPV policies or universal screening in Canadian EDs” ( McClennan et al., 2008, p. 325).

Forensic Education in the ED – Henderson et al. (2012) studied ED physicians’ and nurses’ forensic knowledge, their practice experiences and their forensic learning needs. They compared the results finding no significant difference in education, knowledge and confidence in caring for the forensic patient between the two professions. However, only just over half of both physicians and nurses felt confident to care for and manage a forensic patient indicating forensic knowledge was not only needed in the EDs but desired. Further, the study reached conclusions including the recognition that “proficient, safe, quality care for the forensic patient must be operationalized in the ED setting” (Henderson et al., 2012, p. 176).

Canadian Client Satisfaction Survey – on Nurse-led SV/DV Services. Du Mont et al. (2014) surveyed 30 of the 35 SA/DV Centres in Ontario regarding client satisfaction. The large scale survey involved over 1000 participants with the following results: 98.6% stated they received the care they needed, 98.8% stated their overall care was excellent or good, and 95.4% stated the care was provided in a sensitive manner. The negative findings were long wait times, negative ED staff attitude, privacy and confidentiality issues and difficulty in accessing services. So, there is still improvement to be made in the healthcare response to RV.

Here is a three-part documentary video that is an excellent resource from the Enfermeiros Forenses (2015) part I, part IIand part III.

Future Healthcare Response Changes

Historically, there have been significant positive and much-needed changes to how healthcare responds to RV and all forms of violence and trauma. Forensic healthcare is now entering areas that have been identified as health-related and could benefit from the specialized skills of the FN and others who have had specialized forensic nursing science, forensic science and forensic medicine education.

  • Human trafficking is becoming part of the healthcare mandate for forensic nurses. B.C. led the way in producing an education module in 2015 for all healthcare providers in the identification of the human trafficked person. To read the module, please, click here (Fraser Health, 2018).
  • Strangulation in RV has not been recognized as the life-threatening event it can be. Forensic Emergency Medicine has developed a protocol for the medical and forensic care of the patient who has or may have been strangled in any violent event. To learn more about strangulation, click here (Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention, n.d.).
  • Forensic science and forensic nursing science research is conducting studies to determine the presence of bruising underneath the skin not visible to the naked eye. Anecdotally, an alternate light source seemed to indicate unseen bruising; however, research is being conducted to validate findings. Read the studies here (Scafide et al., 2020).

*Based on the personal experience of Sheila Early, a Forensic Nurse for 14 years.

American Nurses Association. (2009). Forensic nursing: Scope and standards of practice.Silver Spring.

American Nurses Association and the International Association of Forensic Nurses. (Ed.). (2017). Forensic Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice.

Canadian Forensic Nurses Association. (2020). Education.

(Video) Webinar recording: Asking about and responding to domestic violence and abuse

Carney, M., Buttell, B., & Dutton, D. (2007). Women who perpetrate intimate partner violence: A review of the literature with recommendations for treatment. Aggression and Violent Behavior 12, 108 –115.

Constantino, R. E., Crane, P. A., & Young, S. E. (2013). Forensic nursing evidence-based principles and practice. Davis Plus.

Du Mont, J., Macdonald, S., White, M., Turner, L., White, D., Kaplan, S., & Smith, T. (2014). Client satisfaction with nursing-led sexual assault and domestic violence services in Ontario.Journal of Forensic Nursing,10(3), 122-134.

Early, S. (2015). Forensic nursing: game-changer in healthcare. Presentation at the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants National Conference. Indianapolis, Indiana.

Enfermeiros Forenses. (2015, January 6). Forensic nursing documentary part I. [Video]. YouTube.

Enfermeiros Forenses. (2015, January 6). Forensic nursing documentary part II. [Video]. YouTube.

Enfermeiros Forenses. (2015, January 6). Forensic nursing documentary part III. [Video]. YouTube.

Fraser Health. (2018). Human trafficking.

Henderson, E., Nahoko, H., & Amar, A. (2012). Caring for the forensic population: Recognizing the educational needs of emergency department nurses and physicians. Journal of Forensic Nursing, 8, 170-177.

International Association of Forensic Nurses. (n.d.). What is Forensic nursing?.

(Video) Domestic Violence Training 2020

Lynch, V. (1991). Proposal for a new scientific discipline: Forensic nursing. InPresentation to the general section at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Anaheim, CA. Feb(pp. 18-23).

Lynch, V. A. & Duval B. J. (2011). Forensic nursing science. Elsevier Mosby.

McClennan, S., Worster, A., & MacMillan, H. (2008). Caring for victims of intimate partner violence: A study of Canadian emergency departments. EM Advances Survey.

Mohammed, S. F., & Montori, V. (2015). Making decisions with, not for patients.

Mohammed, S. F., & Montori, V. (2015, May 27). Making decisions with, not for, patients. [Video]. Mayo Clinic.

Office for Victims of Crime. (n.d.). History and development of SANE programs.

Ontario Network of Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Treatment Centres. (2017).

Pakosh, C. (2016). The Lawyer’s Guide to the Forensic Science. Irwin Law.

Rollè, L., Giardina, G., Caldarera, A. M., Gerino, E., & Brustia, P. (2018). When intimate partner violence meets same-sex couples: A review of same-sex intimate partner violence. Frontiers in Psychology,9, 1506.

Scafide, K. N., Sheridan, D. J., Downing, N. R., & Hayat, M. J. (2020). Detection of inflicted bruises by alternate light: Results of a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Forensic Sciences.

(Video) New study by Violence Free Minnesota identifies 26 victims of domestic violence homicides last year

The Scottish Trans Alliance. (2010).

Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention. (n.d.). Recommendations: medical radiographic evaluation of acute adolescent, adult, non-fatal strangulation.


Can I withdraw my statement in a domestic violence case? ›

If you withdraw your statement, the case might still go to court if the police think they have enough evidence to prosecute the suspect. If you want to withdraw your statement because you're worried about giving evidence, you should tell the police how you feel.

What is the relationship between gender and violence? ›

Violence against women is caused by gender inequality – including unequal power relations between women and men, rigid gender roles, norms and hierarchies, and ascribing women lower status in society. Promoting and achieving gender equality is a critical element of the prevention of violence against women.

What is violence in your own words? ›

“The intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation.”

What form of violence is most common in relationships? ›

Intimate partner violence is one of the most common forms of violence against women and includes physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and controlling behaviours by an intimate partner.

What happens if you lie in a witness statement? ›

If you are a claimant, witness or an expert making a false statement it is likely that you will face committal proceedings for contempt of court.

Is a witness statement enough to convict? ›

What is reassuring for defendants is that whilst a signed statement from a complainant is enough for a charge, it is not necessarily enough to secure a conviction. The complainant must be able to convince the jury or magistrates that the defendant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

What are the main causes of violence? ›

Other factors which can be causes of violence include:
  • The influence of one's peers.
  • Having a lack of attention or respect.
  • Having low self-worth.
  • Experiencing abuse or neglect.
  • Witnessing violence in the home, community, or medias.
  • Access to weapons.
17 Aug 2011

How does violence impact the community? ›

The results tell us that youth who live in more violent, lower income, and less safe communities have worse mental health. Youth living in neighborhoods with more homicides have worse mental health and more severe PTSD symptoms, even when controlling for the relative contribution of direct violence exposure.

What are two types of violence? ›

Physical violence occurs when someone uses a part of their body or an object to control a person's actions. Sexual violence occurs when a person is forced to unwillingly take part in sexual activity. Emotional violence occurs when someone says or does something to make a person feel stupid or worthless.

How can we prevent violence? ›

Preventing Youth Violence
  1. Modify the physical and social environment.
  2. Reduce exposure to community-level risks.
  3. Street outreach and community norm change.

How can we stop violence? ›

Tips for Youth to Stop Violence
  1. Tell someone. If you are the victim or are witness to violence, tell someone. ...
  2. Take all violence and abuse seriously. ...
  3. Take a stand. ...
  4. Be an individual. ...
  5. Take back the power. ...
  6. Remember, putting others down doesn't raise you up. ...
  7. Wrong. ...
  8. Be a friend.

How can we prevent violence in our community? ›

  1. A functioning social security system.
  2. A national strategy for comprehensive violence prevention and functioning institutions for its implementation.
  3. Social policies promoting and protecting the rights of children and the youth.
  4. Solidarity within society.
  5. A functioning law enforcement.

Why is it important to study intimate partner violence? ›

For public health professionals and advocates and for battered women, intimate partner violence is a major source of injuries and fatalities. Intimate partner violence presents recurring challenges to legal institutions and actors, who often are first responders to this widespread and persistent social problem.

Which of the following best describes dating violence? ›

Dating and relationship violence is a pattern of coercive and abusive tactics employed by one person in a relationship to gain power and control over another person. It can take many forms, including physical violence, coercion, threats, intimidation, isolation, and emotional, sexual or economic abuse.

What are the causes of intimate partner violence? ›

Risk Factors for Intimate Partner Violence Perpetration
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Low education or income.
  • Young age.
  • Aggressive or delinquent behavior as a youth.
  • Heavy alcohol and drug use.
  • Depression and suicide attempts.
  • Anger and hostility.
  • Lack of nonviolent social problem-solving skills.

How do you expose a liar in court? ›

There are steps that another person can take whether a party or an observer to inform the court of lies.
  1. Provide Testimony. A person who knows that someone else has lied to the court may be called as a witness by the adverse party. ...
  2. Cross-Examination. ...
  3. Provide Evidence. ...
  4. Perjury. ...
  5. Jury Instruction. ...
  6. Legal Assistance.

How do you prove someone is lying about you? ›

Signs of Lying
  1. Being vague; offering few details.
  2. Repeating questions before answering them.
  3. Speaking in sentence fragments.
  4. Failing to provide specific details when a story is challenged.
  5. Grooming behaviors such as playing with hair or pressing fingers to lips.

How do you prove a witness is lying? ›

Understanding What Lawyers Look for to see If a Witness is Lying
  1. Premise. ...
  2. Verbal Indicators. ...
  3. No Response/Non-Responsive. ...
  4. Delayed Response. ...
  5. Repeating the Question. ...
  6. No Denial. ...
  7. Overly Specific/Overly Vague. ...
  8. Protest Statements.

Can a person be found guilty without evidence? ›

It is not necessary for the accused person to prove his case beyond a reasonable doubt or in default to incur a verdict of guilty. The onus of proof lying upon the accused person is to prove his case by a preponderance of probability."

Can a judge dismiss a case for lack of evidence? ›

2, Rule 118), the dismissal of the case for insufficiency of the evidence after the prosecution has rested terminates the case then and there.

Can a case go to court without evidence? ›

Most certainly not. If somehow it does, the case won't last long and the prosecution won't like the final judgment.

What are 5 effects of violence? ›

Consequences include increased incidences of depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, and suicide; increased risk of cardiovascular disease; and premature mortality. The health consequences of violence vary with the age and sex of the victim as well as the form of violence.

What are the causes and effects of violence? ›

Those who experience or witness violence may develop a variety of problems, including anxiety, depression, insecurity, anger, poor anger management, poor social skills, pathological lying, manipulative behaviour, impulsiveness, and lack of empathy.

Why is violence prevention important? ›

Violence is an urgent public health problem. From infants to the elderly, it affects people in all stages of life and can lead to a lifetime of physical, emotional, and economic problems. CDC is committed to preventing violence so that everyone can be safe and healthy.

What is the impact of violence on community health and safety? ›

Health services

Those affected by violence are at risk of related psychological and social costs and of secondary victimisation from the criminal justice and health systems and society. 4 4 This may lead to problems such as post-traumatic stress, substance abuse and aggressive responses.

What are the common violence in the community? ›

Acts of community violence include but are not limited to riots, sniper attacks, gang wars, drive-by shootings, bullying, workplace assaults, terrorist attacks, torture, bombings, war, ethnic cleansing, and widespread sexual, physical, and emotional abuse.

How has violence affected the world? ›

Violence in the world. Each year, more than 1.6 million people worldwide lose their lives to violence. For every person who dies as a result of violence, many more are injured and suffer from a range of physical, sexual, reproductive and mental health problems.

What are the 10 causes of violence? ›

10 Most Common Causes of Domestic Violence in Relationship
  • Mental problems.
  • Poverty and unemployment.
  • Education.
  • Young parents.
  • Relationship Retention Behavior.
  • Historical Factors.
  • Cultural Factors.
  • Self Defence.
13 Sept 2022

What is a violent person? ›

Violent behaviour is when you're physically harming others, or causing them to fear harm from you. Violent behaviour comes in many forms. Drugs and alcohol usually make violent behaviour worse. If you're being violent, there are things you can do to understand and stop your destructive behaviour.

What is violence theory? ›

The culture of violence theory addresses the pervasiveness of specific violent patterns within a societal dimension. The concept of violence being ingrained in Western society and culture has been around for at least the 20th century.

How is violent behavior treated? ›

These include behaviour therapy, talk therapy, parental management therapy. These are executed on the patient through specialist psychiatrist who follow the psychological principles and methods which are used to calm down a violent mind.

What does stop violence mean? ›

The FCCLA STOP (Students Taking On Prevention) the Violence program empowers youth with. attitudes, skills, and resources in order to recognize, report, and reduce youth violence.

What would be your role to control violence in the country? ›

Answer: Volunteer to help in anti-crime and other neighborhood and community improvement efforts. Encourage groups you belong to (such as religious, civic, and social) to help stop crime. ... Use common-sense tips to reduce your risk of being a crime victim.

What is the impact of violence? ›

Consequences include increased incidences of depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, and suicide; increased risk of cardiovascular disease; and premature mortality. The health consequences of violence vary with the age and sex of the victim as well as the form of violence.

What are the main causes of violence in schools? ›

The Root of Violence in Schools

Individuals who have a history of being abused either by family members or other members of society are likely to become violent towards others, more especially if they are teenagers. Substance abuse also contributes to persons becoming violent towards others.

What is a solution to crime? ›

Improving surveillance around homes, businesses or public places to deter criminals. Ensuring your property and wider community looks cared for. Changing our habits by setting rules and positioning signage in appropriate locations. Increasing the likelihood that an offender will be caught to prevent crime occurring.

What is the impact of violence on individuals? ›

Psychiatric disorders including depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are found at higher rates among youth exposed to community violence. Many children experience more than one symptom or disorder.

What are the causes of youth violence essay? ›

Causes of Youth Violence
  • The Background. It seems evident that young people are heavily influenced by the community where they have grown up and live. ...
  • Personal Characteristics. ...
  • Access to Guns and the Influence of the Media. ...
  • Extension of Violence. ...
  • Health Problems.
3 Dec 2019

What would you do if you were subjected to violence? ›

1. Seek help immediately. If you are feeling in danger, you should ring the Police on 000 immediately. If you are not in immediate danger but need support, call 1800 RESPECT for counselling, referral and information (ph: 1800 737 732).

How does domestic violence affect education? ›

Findings shows that domestic violence inflicts harm to children such as emotional harm, psychological harm, physical pain and low self-esteem which impact the child learning systems thereby influencing a child to lose interest in education, arrive late at school, being absent from school, dropout of school and even ...

How can violence affect a child? ›

[1] Exposure to violence can harm a child's emotional, psychological and even physical development. Children exposed to violence are more likely to have difficulty in school, abuse drugs or alcohol, act aggressively, suffer from depression or other mental health problems and engage in criminal behavior as adults.

What is a healthy relationship? ›

Healthy relationships involve honesty, trust, respect and open communication between partners and they take effort and compromise from both people. There is no imbalance of power. Partners respect each other's independence, can make their own decisions without fear of retribution or retaliation, and share decisions.

What is threatening Behaviour in a relationship? ›

Coercive behaviour is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.

What are the 4 types of dating violence? ›

Contact. Teen dating violence (TDV) occurs between two people in a close relationship and includes four types of behavior: physical violence, sexual violence, stalking and psychological aggression.

What are 5 consequences of intimate partner violence? ›

Injury, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, concern for safety, fear, needing help from law enforcement, and missing at least one day of work are common impacts reported. Over 61 million women and 53 million men have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

What are the 3 most common types of intimate partner violence? ›

Intimate partner violence is one of the most common forms of violence against women and includes physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and controlling behaviours by an intimate partner.

Who is affected by intimate partner violence? ›

1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. This includes a range of behaviors (e.g. slapping, shoving, pushing) and in some cases might not be considered "domestic violence." 1 in 7 women and 1 in 25 men have been injured by an intimate partner.

Can you retract a victim impact statement? ›

Once you have made a victim personal statement you cannot withdraw or change it. However, if you feel you have found further longer term effects of the crime you may be able to make another statement that updates the information provided in the first one.

Can I refuse to give a statement to the police? ›

Any information uttered or willingly given to an officer may be used against you in court. You may not be compelled to make any confession or admission that could be used in evidence against you.

What is a retraction statement? ›

In a legal sense retraction is the act of taking back — or disavowing — a defamatory statement made about an individual or a group that is false, incorrect, or invalid.

Can you drop charges against someone NSW? ›

A common misconception that people have is that the alleged victim can withdraw charges. This is not true. As police are the party that has laid the charges, only police can withdraw domestic violence charges. The same applies to police AVOs (apprehended violence orders).

Can I refuse to give a witness statement? ›

Your witness statement may be used as evidence in court. You don't have to give a statement but you might still be asked to go to court and say what you know.

What do you put in a personal statement for a victim? ›

The VPS allows you to say how you and your family have been affected by the crime. This is different to a witness statement, which describes what happened at the time of the crime. Giving a VPS is optional and it will include your routine personal details such as name, date of birth and address.

How do you write an effective victim impact statement? ›

Recommendations • Your Victim Impact Statement should be truthful and speak from your heart. The statement can be an all-encompassing document which addresses how the defendant's actions and the trauma that followed affected your physical, emotional, financial, and spiritual well-being.

Can a police officer handcuff you without arresting you? ›

If a suspect exhibits some of these aforementioned clues during a lawful investigative detention a law enforcement officer may handcuff the suspect until probable cause to arrest is established or the reasonable suspicion dissipates, and the suspect is released.

Do I have to give police my name? ›

You DO NOT have to give your name and address unless the officer points out an offence he / she suspects you have committed. However, not providing your details may lead to you being detained for longer.

How long can police hold you without a phone call? ›

Generally, the standard time the police can hold you for is 24 hours until they will need to charge you with a criminal offence or release you. In exceptional circumstances, they can apply to hold you for longer, up to 36 or 96 hours. This is usually if you are suspected of more serious crimes such a murder.

Do defendants have to give evidence in court? ›

Although defendants can choose not to enter the witness box to give evidence, if they decide to do so, then they must answer all proper questions put to them. Failure to do can usually be held against them by the jury/magistrates when considering their verdict, as can refusal to give evidence at all.

How do you write a witness statement? ›

How to Take and Write a Witness Statement in 8 Easy Steps
  1. Step #1: Include Witness Details. ...
  2. Step #2: Give Some Context. ...
  3. Step #3: Where the Witness Was. ...
  4. Step #4: Record the Witness' Words. ...
  5. Step #5: Ask for Estimates. ...
  6. Step #6: Diagram – If Necessary. ...
  7. Step #7: Read the Statement Back. ...
  8. Step #8: Date and Sign.
22 Nov 2018

What is a synonym for retraction? ›

Some common synonyms of retract are abjure, forswear, recant, and renounce. While all these words mean "to withdraw one's word or professed belief," retract applies to the withdrawing of a promise, an offer, or an accusation. the newspaper had to retract the story.

Does a withdrawn charge stay on your record? ›

Yes. Non-convictions (i.e., acquittals, stayed charges, withdrawn or dismissed charges, and absolute or conditional discharges) still show up on most local police records checks.

When a case is dismissed is it still on your record? ›

Even though the defendant was not convicted, a dismissed case does not prove that the defendant is factually innocent for the crime for which he or she was arrested. A dismissed case will still remain on the defendant's criminal record.

Can charges be dropped after first hearing? ›

But charges can be dropped any time before the trial or up until the point where the prosecution is done with presenting their side of the case. If charges are dropped after the trial begins, the prosecution must request the court to allow the charges to be dropped, and the court may or may not give their consent.


1. Super Bowl 2015: Domestic Violence PSA
(Wall Street Journal)
2. Free cosmetic procedures help domestic violence survivors regain identities
(CBS Chicago)
3. Supporting Victims of Domestic Violence - free online course at
4. Monica Conley remembers those lost, shares her domestic violence story
(WRTV Indianapolis)
5. Domestic Violence Action Center CEO Nanci Kreidman joins Spotlight Hawaii
6. GBMC - Domestic Violence Awareness
(WMAR-2 News)
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