Annie Lewis-O’Connor (second from left) and Mardi Chadwick (second from right) and colleagues from across Partners organized Partners’ first annual Trauma-Informed Care Conference last fall.

Annie Lewis-O’Connor, PhD, NP
Director of the Coordinated Approach to Recovery and Empowerment (C.A.R.E.) Clinic

Worldwide violence against women is an epidemic. Women are stoned, beaten, set on fire, raped, strangled and murdered simply because they are women. In the United States, we have made substantial strides to prevent and care for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking, but despite major legislative policies and improved health care response, the incidence and prevalence rates remain alarmingly high.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the United States. Here at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, there is much recognition and many opportunities to learn about this epidemic.

  • Follow BWH Passageway on Twitter @passagewayBWH and Facebook.
  • Learn about BWH’s “Do No Harm” campaign on the Community Connects TV screens around the hospital, and stop by the information table outside the Shop on the Pike throughout the month.
  • Join BWH Grand Rounds on Oct. 7, at 4 p.m., to hear about the intersection of violence and health, and on Oct. 24, at noon, to hear about the topic of human trafficking, both in Bornstein Amphitheater.
  • Attend Schwartz Rounds, “Violence and Trauma: Providing Compassionate Care for Victims and Survivors,” on Oct. 14, at noon, in the Anesthesia Conference Room
  • Gather for an Honoring Survivors Service on Oct. 15, at 12:15 p.m., in the Shapiro Breakout Room.
  • Learn more about trauma-informed care at an event with Carole Warshaw, MD, director of the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health, on Oct. 30, at 8:30 a.m., in Huvos Auditorium at BWFH.
  • Huddles with staff regarding domestic violence awareness will be held on all shifts through the month of October.

Lastly, during the month of October, take every opportunity to ask your patients about their safety in their relationships. For example, you could say: “I am going to ask you a few questions that I ask all my female patients. In your intimate relationship, is their ever a time when your partner makes you feel afraid? Physically hurts you? Makes you do something you do not wish to do? I ask you because we know that exposure to violence does affect people’s health.”

For confidential and free support, call Passageway at: 617-732-8753. View the full calendar of Domestic Violence Awareness Month events.