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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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Comment Preferences

  •  I imagine that Obama will mention the VAWA act (7+ / 0-)

    in the State of the Union.   I can also imagine some Republican outraged that Obamacare will help domestic violence survivors.

    Washington and Colorado said that you've got to legalize it. Hope the DOJ respects that.

    by pistolSO on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 02:45:24 PM PST

  •  Cue the Religous Right (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MBishop1, irishwitch

    screaming that it violates their religious freedom to treat women like commodities.

    "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 02:57:35 PM PST

  •  Just one problem with this: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Obamacare forbids meaningful screening for potential domestic violence deaths (about 25-30 per week by firearms).

    This language was inserted into Obamacare (by Harry Reid, I believe) before it could be passed:


    ‘‘(1) WELLNESS AND PREVENTION PROGRAMS.— A wellness and health promotion activity implemented under subsection (a)(1)(D) may not require the disclosure or collection of any information relating to—

    ‘‘(A) the presence or storage of a lawfully- possessed firearm or ammunition in the residence or on the property of an individual; or

    ‘‘(B) the lawful use, possession, or storage of a firearm or ammunition by an individual.

    (2) LIMITATION ON DATA COLLECTION.—None of the authorities provided to the Secretary under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act shall be construed to authorize or may be used for the collection of any in- formation relating to—

    ‘‘(A) the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition;

    ‘‘(B) the lawful use of a firearm or ammunition; or

    ‘‘(C) the lawful storage of a firearm or ammunition.

    ‘‘(3) LIMITATION ON DATABASES OR DATA BANKS.—None of the authorities provided to the Secretary under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act shall be construed to authorize or may be used to maintain records of individual ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition.

    All the petitions in the world won't change this.

    Denial is a drug.

    by Pluto on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 03:13:32 PM PST

    •  The diary is correct.You are Misinterpreting that. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
    •  Update on this: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Batya the Toon

      The President's Exceutive Orders pertaining to gun control suggest that these restrictions written into the ACA should not be enforced.

      16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

      17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

      Thus, opening the door to protection of children and women, and in elder care and psychiatry, where it was nailed shut by the gun lobby in the ACA.

      Denial is a drug.

      by Pluto on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 03:13:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  More solid proof, ObamaCare Works. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Or as Mitt Romney would say, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    just more "gifts" from President Obama.

    “Th’ noise ye hear is not th’ first gun iv a revolution. It’s on’y th’ people iv the United States batin’ a carpet.” - Mr. Dooley

    by puakev on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 03:40:11 PM PST

  •  Very good, but not enough (8+ / 0-)

    1) Domestic violence does not stop when a woman turns 47. Does it only matter while they can get pregnant, but the abuse is acceptable when a woman becomes infertile?

    2) Men can also be subject to abuse, both physical and emotional, in a domestic relationship. This abuse can come from either a female or a male partner. I have taken hotline calls from men about this.

    No abuse or violence is ever acceptable in any domestic relationship, and all patients should be screened for this.

    •  Well, so far this week (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueness, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN

      -- over the past two and a half days:

      KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Authorities say that an elderly man killed his wife and then tried to kill himself at their south Kansas City home on Wednesday morning. A nurse at the hospital reported that Harry Irwin said that his wife had been arguing and screaming at him all night, and he “couldn’t take it anymore.” Irwin then allegedly said that he didn’t remember what he hit his wife with, but he said that he, “Did her in.”

      HOISINGTON, Kan. (AP) _ The Barton County Sheriff's office says a couple died in an apparent murder-suicide at their rural home. Officers went to the house after a juvenile called to say shots had been fired at the home. It appears Justin Heggemeier shot his wife at close range and then killed himself. The juvenile apparently hid in the closet and was not injured.

      WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, PA - Pennsylvania State Police confirmed that former police officer John Fleagle murdered his wife Cathy after shooting her in the back, then injured his step-son Mitchell Robinson, with a shot to the forearm. "After these shootings occurred, the husband put the gun on himself and shot himself," says Trooper Rob Hicks, Pennsylvania State Police.

      WARWICK, R.I. -- Police are investigating two deaths in Warwick as a murder-suicide. The victims were identified as 52-year-old William Liebrich and his wife 50-year-old Colleen Liebrich. Officers found them in their home at 161 Armstrong Ave. Both residents were found in bed with gunshot wounds.

      THOMASVILLE, Ga. -- Thomasville Police are on the scene of an attempted murder turned suicide at Southwest Georgia Dialysis Facility. The incident happened around 7 a.m. on Wednesday morning. Lt. Hampton says that a woman, now identified as Loretha Threadcraft, ran inside and locked herself in a bathroom. Shortly after, a man, now identified as Leonard Threadcraft, entered the building and began firing shots toward the bathroom. The man then walked outside and shot himself. He was discovered dead on scene.

      NEVADA -- An off-duty Las Vegas Metropolitan police officer appears to have killed his wife and young son before killing himself in an apparent murder-suicide on Monday morning in their Boulder City home.

      CLEMMONS, N.C. — Davidson County sheriff's deputies said 40-year-old Emily Woosley Benbow and her 40-year-old husband, Timothy Shane Benbow, were killed Tuesday. Investigators say the shooting was domestic related. A family member found the couple dead in their home shortly before 2 p.m.. Their 3-year-old daughter was watching television and was not hurt.

      FLORIDA -- Hamilton County Sheriff's Office detectives are investigating a murder/suicide in which the body of a woman was found Monday on a dirt road in Hamilton County and the body of her father was found Tuesday at a truck stop in Marion County. A power company employee discovered the body of Pamela Provenzano, 61, on a county road. Provenzano had been shot in the head. Her father, Daniel Lee Ovaert, 79, was found in a parked car dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

      If screeners are ever allowed to ask about firearms -- despite rules of the ACA -- they may be able to pinpoint those at highest risk.

      Denial is a drug.

      by Pluto on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 08:47:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hear, Hear! But, it's a start. N/T (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmservo433, Eileen B


      “If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

      by musiccitymollie on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 04:03:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Magic cut-off age? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eileen B, Lonely Texan, tofumagoo, Pluto

      I don't get it.  Domestic violence goes no matter the age.  I speak from experience.

    •  Inch by Inch (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Batya the Toon

      I agree, in the end we need broader rules all the way around.  And many of those can be tackled and extended at the state level.   But inch by inch we must try to get the change we need to get the ball rolling

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 05:01:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  VAWA: For Women, Children, Real Men, and Society (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lonely Texan, Batya the Toon

    A society is defined by how it handles the least of it's people.

    I've worked with and on behalf of causes to help those who are victims of physical, emotional and sexual abuse.   Women who have sheltered their children from real harm.

    The VAWA isn't a bill just about women - though they are the first that is protected.   It's a bill about children who will have their lives shaped by the damage done to their well being by the abuse of a mother, aunt or family friend.

    But the VAWA is also about men.  And by that, I mean real men.  Ask any real man what they think about rapists, abusers and it is one of the few things that will truly boil their blood.   Many men care deeply, strongly about these issues.   Not just because it touches their life but because in a selfish way, the existence of a culture that passively condones such behavior means that more women will find themselves jaded, hurt, and have a difficult time trusting no matter how good of a person you are.  

    For husbands, a wife raped is a nightmare scenario; for a father, abuse of a daughter is the thing that can keep you up at night.

    For all of us, it is our inbuilt desire to protect others.  As friends, as families, as equals, as not equals.  

    I will never be (to me) the equal to my wife, she will always be the most important thing in my life; I'm not the equal of my children.    This is the thought that has driven men for generations, how to improve the lives and leave our mark.

    The VAWA is part of that.   To the women of congress I say: represent all of the families, children, men and women.   To the men in congress I say: be a man, you know this is the right thing.  Do it.

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 05:00:14 PM PST

  •  OK, that's a bit odd. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eileen B, Pluto

    That's already been standard procedure everywhere I've had a clinical since 2005.  Every first contact at a hospital has included those sorts of questions as part of the medical history part of the first assessment.  I guess maybe my part of the country was just ahead of the curve.

  •  Why stop when women turn 45? n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  I really liked (0+ / 0-)

    reading this.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 07:55:35 PM PST

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