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Health professionals’ responses to women’s disclosure of domestic violenceThis study explored women’s experiences of their responses from health professionals following disclosure of domestic violence within a health setting. The existence of health based policies guiding professionals in the provision of appropriate support following disclosure of domestic violence is only effective if health professionals understand the dynamics of violent relationships. This paper focuses on the findings from the interviews conducted with fifteen women living in the UK who disclosed their experiences of domestic violence when accessing healthcare. Following thematic analysis, themes emerged that rotated around their disclosure and the responses they received from health professionals. The first two themes revealed the repudiation of, or recognition of and failure to act upon, domestic violence. A description of how the health professional’s behaviour became analogous with that of the perpetrator is discussed. The final theme illuminated women’s’ receipt of appropriate and sensitive support, leading to a positive trajectory away from a violent relationship. The findings suggest that the implicit understanding of the dynamics of violent relationships and the behaviours of the perpetrator of domestic violence are essential components of health care provision to avoid inadvertent inappropriate interactions with women.
Safeguarding and qualitative researchQualitative research is a potent method used by researchers to gain an insight and understanding into the thoughts, feelings, views and experiences of both patient’s and healthcare professionals. The narrative data offered through conversational methods of qualitative research can provide rich and deep descriptions of healthcare and so act as a guide to further research or offer different views and considerations for professional practice. Nonetheless, safeguards are a paramount issue particularly if studies involve inexperienced researchers.