Investigating health visitors' experiences of the screening process for domestic violence and abuse

Emma, Marie Morgan*, Michelle Thomas, Joanne Plaster

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Healthy Child Wales Programme requires health visitors to screen for domestic violence and abuse (DVA), providing an opportunity to search for health needs, as defined by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. Open conversations, observation and assessment begin during the antenatal period as pregnant women are at a high risk of DVA during this time. Although women want to be asked about DVA, many do not disclose their experiences. Consequently, health visitors may struggle to recognise DVA, asking inadequate questions and responding ineffectively. This article outlines the findings of a policy analysis exercise and a literature review to shed light on ways in which health visitors support women who are victims of DVA. It identifies three themes: confidence; disclosure; and support. The review concludes that health visiting and midwifery services would benefit from working more collaboration and better information sharing to ensure that women are supported appropriately and to improve outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-30
JournalJournal of Health Visiting
Issue number1
Early online date18 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2023


  • Health Visitors
  • domestic abuse
  • screening


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