"I think we all want to be asked, even if we deny being abused. There is not a right time. But if you ask, even if I deny it, I know I can go back to you and get help if I need it."
Systematic reviews of screening for intimate partner violence have found insufficient evidence to make a recommendation as to whether screening is appropriate. However, asking about intimate partner violence is not associated with any harm to the woman, and may validate her experiences, increase her self-esteem and reduce her feeling of isolation. While the nature of the physician-patient relationship and the manner in which questions are asked may be more important to women than the questions themselves, screening tools for intimate partner violence exist. Two examples are provided below.
S - How would you describe your Spousal relationship?
A - What happens when you and your partner Argue?
F - Do Fights result in you being hit, shoved, or hurt?
E - Do you have an Emergency plan?