Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) sponsored an event honoring V-Day on Feb. 9 called “Inquiry and Intervention for Domestic Violence: Using a Trauma-Informed Lens”. V-Day is an international day of celebration, honoring the resilience, power and strength of women and girls. The V-Day organization is a nonprofit that seeks to end violence against women.

BWH’s event provided a panel discussion about the challenges and opportunities facing clinicians in caring for patients who have experienced intimate partner violence. Speakers recommended the use of trauma-informed care, which helps avoid retraumatizing patients because it considers the multiple symptoms and effects of trauma. The afternoon also provided information about screening for domestic violence and included a role play of a screening in practice.

The Brigham has an excellent history of service helping victims of interpersonal violence access care. In 1997, social workers, emergency room physicians and primary care doctors at BWH came together to set up a network of support, and launched Passageway – a program of the Center for Community Health and Health Equity, working to improve the health, wellbeing and safety of those experiencing abuse from an intimate partner.

In 2010, Annie Lewis-O’Connor, NP, PhD, created the C.A.R.E (Coordinated Approach to Recovery and Empowerment) Clinic, which provides comprehensive, patient-centered, trauma-informed services to assist survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence or human trafficking with navigating the often complex medical and legal systems while healing from emotional trauma.

More information about V-Day and the Brigham services mentioned here can be found at: