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The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has determined that all women of childbearing age, 14-46, should be screened for domestic violence by physicians and clinic staff. That's a major reversal for the task force since 2004 when it last weighed in on the issue, finding that there wasn't sufficient evidence to suggest it was necessary.
Now, citing new evidence, the task force said that screening women for IPV with a list of standard questions showed a "moderate net benefit," while the risks associated with disclosing abuse were small.
This matters, as Think Progress notes, because this is the task force that advises the federal government. And it is the advice of this task force that is used to determine what insurers will be required to cover without copay under the Affordable Care Act. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has recommended the screening for women of all ages for years, and the American Medical Association encourages doctors to ask patients about domestic violence. The fact that it will now be included as part of the regular screenings covered by private insurance should help increase this screening.  

The medical community is getting new incentives to address domestic violence while the law enforcement community is being stymied in it by House Republicans, who are still refusing to take up the Violence Against Women Act. The bill died last year because the House refused to work on it; the first lapse in the law since it was adopted in 1994.

Sign the petition urging the 113th Congress to reauthorize the expanded, bipartisan version of the Violence Against Women Act.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 02:36 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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