Domestic Violence Reporting

Health care providers MUST report ANY suspected domestic violence injuries to law enforcement IMMEDIATELY.

DEFINITION:
Domestic violence is a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors, including physical, sexual, and/or psychological attacks, that adults or adolescents use against their current or former intimate partners. Without intervention, the violence usually escalates in both frequency and severity resulting in repeat visits to the healthcare system, or death.

HISTORY SUGGESTING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE:

  • Physical symptoms related to stress
  • History inconsistent with injury
  • Delay in seeking aid
  • Injuries during pregnancy
  • Repeat visits to health care providers for treatment of injures
  • Evasive, reluctant to speak in front of partner
  • Unexplained, multiple or old physical injuries
  • Traumatic injury or sexual assault
  • Suicide attempt(s)

ASK ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE:

  • Talk to the patient alone in a safe, private environment
  • Use direct, simple questions such as:
    "Did someone cause these injuries? Who?"
    "Are you in a relationship with a person who physically hurts or threatens you?"

FOR CURRENT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE EPISODES

VERBALLY REPORT:
Contact the appropriate law enforcement agency immediately by phone.

  • Redding Police Dispatch (530)245-6565
    1313 California St, Redding, CA 96001
  • Shasta County Sheriff's Dispatch (530)245-6540
    1525 Court St, Redding, CA 96001
  • Anderson Police Department (530)378-6600
    2220 North St, Anderson, CA

WRITTEN REPORT:
Complete a Suspected Violence Injury Report (Form 11160) and submit it to the appropriate law enforcement agency within two working days of receiving the information.

It is recommended you include in patient's medical records the following:

  • Comments by patient regarding past domestic violence and/or name of person suspected of inflicting injury.
  • Map of body showing and identifying injuries.
  • Copy of law enforcement reporting form

MAKE APPROPRIATE REFERRALS:
It is highly recommended you refer the patient to a local domestic violence service organization.

One SAFE Place
2250 Benton Dr, Redding, CA 96003
www.ospshasta.org

An advocate can respond to physician offices, clinics and emergency rooms 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The numbers to call are:
24-hour crisis lines
(530) 244-0117
1-866-329-7297 (Intermountain Area)
(530) 474-1910 (Shingletown)

FOR DISCLOSURE OF PAST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE EPISODES

MAKE APPROPRIATE REFERRALS:

It is highly recommended you refer the patient to a local domestic violence service organization.

One SAFE Place
2250 Benton Dr, Redding, CA 96003
www.ospshasta.org

An advocate can respond to physician offices, clinic and emergency rooms 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The numbers to call are:
24-hour crisis lines
(530) 244-0117
1-866-329-7297 (Intermountain Area)
(530) 474-1910 (Shingletown)

CALIFORNIA LAW

IMMUNITY

A health care practitioner who makes a report shall not incur civil or criminal liability as a result of any report required or authorized by law.

DUTY TO REPORT

A health care practitioner who, in his/her professional capacity, or within the scope of his/her employment, provides medical services for a physical condition to a patient whom he/she knows or reasonably suspects is suffering from any wound or other physical injury inflicted as a result of assaultive or abusive conduct, including abuse of a spouse or cohabitant, must report the incident to law enforcement (California Penal Code 11160).

"Reasonably suspects" means that it is objectively reasonable for a person to entertain a suspicion, based on facts that could cause a reasonable person in a like position drawing, when appropriate, on his/her training and experience, to suspect domestic violence.

LIABILITY:

  • Civil: A physician who treats a victim that does not inquire about domestic abuse or accepts an unlikely explanation for the injury could be held liable if the victim returns to the abuse and is injured again.
  • Criminal: A violation of the California domestic violence reporting law is a misdemeanor punishable by improvement in the county jail not exceeding 6 months, or by fine not exceeding $1,000 or both.

 

MORE INFORMATION:
For more information about local Domestic Violence resources, visit www.ospshasta.org or call (530)244-0117.