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Trying Times and Trying Out Solutions: Intimate Partner Violence Screening and Support for Women Veterans During COVID-19.
Rossi FS, Shankar M, Buckholdt K, Bailey Y, Israni ST, Iverson KM. Trying Times and Trying Out Solutions: Intimate Partner Violence Screening and Support for Women Veterans During COVID-19. Journal of general internal medicine. 2020 Sep 1; 35(9):2728-2731.
Initial reports indicate widespread increases in intimate partner violence (IPV) rates during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Women veterans are at particular risk for experiencing IPV, and the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting stay-at-home orders may be exacerbating this risk. IPV screening and intervention are an integral part of the care provided to women veterans in the Veteran''s Health Administration (VHA). Current changes in healthcare delivery during COVID-19 may present challenges to the VHA''s standard methods of initiating IPV screening and intervention with women veterans. We discuss the potential challenges VHA healthcare providers may be encountering when conducting routine IPV screening during the COVID-19 pandemic and when providing resources and support to women veterans experiencing IPV. We describe solutions to these challenges, including existing efforts led by the VHA IPV Assistance Program (IPVAP) as well as additional potential solutions. New ideas and partnerships will be critical for helping the VHA continue to assist women veterans experiencing IPV as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves. Though our focus is on women veterans and the VHA, the challenges and solutions we discuss are likely applicable to other populations experiencing IPV and other health care systems screening for IPV.