Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault
Women are the most likely victims of domestic violence, which can take the form of physical, sexual, emotional, or economic abuse. Chronic abusive behavior is all too common within relationships or family systems, and millions of American women have experienced some form of abuse at some point. A woman who finds herself in a repeatedly abusive situation often needs – and, indeed, should seek – counseling and advice from a professional.
Trained and trusted healthcare staff members, such as those at our center, can help to evaluate the situation and suggest options and resources to which to turn. If an emergency room or medical office visit has been necessary as a result of domestic violence, we can also offer consultation afterward.
The physical and psychological results of domestic violence can be substantial. In some cases, medically documenting violence and abuse can be an important first step. The staff at our Center for Gynecology & Women's Health can offer an examination and determine if physical or psychological indications of such events are apparent, recording the patients' explanation of the cause.
The team can refer to social-services professionals, including our knowledgeable staff social workers; to law-enforcement authorities; or to additional counseling resources. Abuse and violence often evolves in a pattern that can become more serious if no actions or interventions are taken.
The center's providers can also put patients in touch with advocates at domestic violence or abuse programs, who can help a woman decide what options to take. In addition, our staff works with a full range of other medical specialists and healthcare services to provide all types of care for women who have suffered domestic violence.
Sexual Assault Response Program & Rape Crisis Center
To assist women in the community who have experienced sexual assault, Jefferson Bucks Hospital has instituted a Sexual Assault Response Program and is a designated Rape Crisis Center. The mission of the Crisis Center is to provide patients with a comprehensive, responsive and healing environment.
The Center is staffed 24-hours by on-call Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners (SAFE), who are registered nurses with special training in the collection of forensic evidence through a comprehensive sexual assault examination. The examiners also assist with the treatment of post-assault injuries, referrals to victim advocates, and patient follow-up care. The Center's staff works closely with the Network of Victims Assistance (NOVA), law enforcement, criminal justice and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape.