Journal Article

Is routine screening for intimate partner violence feasible in public health care settings in Kenya?

More than a third of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence (IPV) or non-partner sexual violence. The short- and long-term health effects of violence can be disabling if left undetected. A recent World Health Organization (WHO) report indicates that Africa is one of the regions with the highest prevalence of physical and/or sexual IPV among ever-partnered women. Routine screening for IPV can potentially improve the care and treatment of women suffering from violence. Although routine screening is commonplace in European and American countries, health systems barriers in developing countries have deterred introduction of this practice. Results from this feasibility study indicate that providers are willing and able to incorporate IPV screening into their practice and that IPV screening in a variety of health care settings in a public hospital is feasible and welcomed by clients. Referral uptake by women suffering from IPV was low compared with provider referral rates, but ways in which referral and management services could be improved were identified.