Domestic Violence is a worldwide problem with repercussions for the victim, their children and the community, far beyond comprehension. According to the Centers for Disease Control, each year in the United States, 4.8 million women suffer from intimate-partner-related physical abuse and rapes, and 2.9 million men are victims of physical abuse from their partners. Usually, the victim refuses to admit to themselves that they are in an abusive relationship. The victim puts on a mask for the world. They portray that they are in a healthy relationship, when in reality; their partner takes control and holds them prisoner. Thousands of these victims struggle with their health because they refuse to seek help. Domestic Violence displays distinctive challenges for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN). Because of these challenges, particular, therapeutic responses are necessary. But before a Licensed Vocational Nuse (LVN) is able to effectively and efficiently respond to their patients suffering from domestic violence, they must first understand the nature and causes of the problem.

So what is Domestic Violence? By definition, Domestic Violence is a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors, including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks, as well as economic coercion, that adults or adolescents use against their intimate partners.

Physical Abuse may include spitting, scratching, biting, grabbing, shaking, shoving, pushing, restraining, throwing, twisting, slapping, punching, chocking, burning and or use of weapons against a victim.

Sexual Abuse consists of an extensive range of behaviors that may include pressured-sex when the victim does not want sex, coerced sex by manipulation or threat, physically forced sex or sexual abuse with the use of violence.

Emotional Abuse is a method of control which includes an array of verbal attacks and humiliations. These attacks include repeated verbal attacks against the victim’s worth as an individual. The abuser often concentrates their verbal attacks on the victim’s vulnerabilities.

Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) are faced with several issues to take into consideration when it comes to their patients suspected of Domestic Violence, both when inquiring about abuse and when providing interventions. For all victims of Domestic Violence, safety is imperative. During the month of October, American College of Nursing (ACN) proudly supports Domestic Violence Awareness, Month. Student Vocational Nurses (SVNs) are being educated on how to build nurse/patient relationships, using therapeutic communications in order to elicit information from suspected patients suffering from Domestic Violence.

At the American College of Nursing (ACN) campus, located in Concord, CA, Student Vocational Nurses (SVNs) are doing their part in spreading the word about Domestic Violence Awareness. A bulletin board is being put up by the students with helpful information about Domestic Violence. On Monday, October 3rd, President Obama state: “I call on all Americans to speak out against Domestic Violence and need.” So let us all come together as a nation, and respond to our president’s calling. Not only by speaking out against Domestic Violence, but taking action. After all, actions speak louder than words.