Domestic violence: HAS calls on doctors to systematically question patients

The Haute Autorité de Santé considers it necessary to standardize the questioning of patients about domestic violence when they consult primary care professionals.

On the occasion of the international day for the fight against violence against women this November 25, the High Authority for Health “decided to deploy nationally a tool to help identify domestic violence”, we learned in a press release on Wednesday.

The objective of the HAS is to standardize the subject among professionals, in order to deal more quickly with women who are victims of violence.

Every year, dozens of women are killed by their spouses or husbands. In 2021, police services and gendarmerie units recorded 122 feminicides. This year, the We All association has already counted 121 feminicides.

“A vital risk”

The document, which will be widely distributed with the support of the Health Insurance, will encourage professionals “to systematically question all their patients about the existence of domestic violence, current or past.”

“Undetected violence has consequences on physical and mental health and generally becomes more frequent and severe over time, to the point of representing a vital risk”, recalls the HAS.

“This role is all the more important since doctors, through the relationship of trust they have with their patients, are very often the first professionals to whom women victims of violence turn,” justifies the High Authority for Health.

According to the BVA institute, which conducted a study on the subject for the HAS in October 2022 on a representative sample of 875 women, 96% of patients consider that systematic questioning is a good thing.

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