Prevention of violence

B. A. Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Primary care physicians can easily incorporate efforts toward the primary and secondary prevention of family violence into their practices. By designing a preventive effort using the phases of the family life cycle, a developmentally appropriate system of prevention is created. The anticipatory guidance at each (annual) visit acknowledges family transitions and assures the family that abuse is a health issue and that the physician is a resource for issues of violence prevention. Using the FLC, the first phase is Coupling, when there is a risk of partner violence that continues as long as there is a partnership. Pregnancy and childbirth bring concerns of child neglect and battery. Older children are at additional risk for child sexual abuse. As families age, risks develop for elder abuse, too. The regular discussion of these issues raises the awareness that the potential for family violence continues over the life span and allows the physician opportunities to assess the risk of violence in that family and make appropriate preventive referrals. Primary care physicians are optimally positioned to address violence and its prevention in the office: they know and care for family units over time. Physicians are respected and trusted advisors who can become effective in preventing violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-288
Number of pages12
JournalPrimary Care - Clinics in Office Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


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