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Averting serious threats

Anne Berit Lunde talks about two obligations to report cases of domestic violence.
Two obligations by law to report to both to the police and to to the children protection service. If we know or if we see that for the women to go back to her husband that are violent, if that is a risk to her life in our opinion, we are obligated to report it to the police and the police are obligated to do something about it. And also if there is children in the family and the mother want to go back with the children to the father, we are obligated to report it to the children protection service. And we do that in all the cases. And we inform the patients that we do this.
Also in many cases, we report to the children protection service when the mother is going not back to the husband but another place, even the shelter or some relatives to make sure that the children protection service follows up, to make sure that the children are safe.

Spend a few minutes watching this interview with Dr Anne Berit Lunde from the Oslo Emergency Ward in Norway, as she talks about the two obligations to report cases of domestic violence: one to the police, and one to the child protection agency.

Reflection point

Find out whether there are legal obligations to report domestic violence in your country. Are these obligations widely known and followed by health professionals?
Do you think legal obligations to report domestic violence can negatively affect patients’ perceptions of confidentiality related to health care services?

Write your comments in the general discussion area below, and read what others have written. When you are ready, move on to the next step.

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Addressing Violence Through Patient Care

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