11. When your patient is the perpetrator

Consider the safety of female victims and their children as the highest priority. Note that perpetrators of violence have a tendency to minimise the violence, or shift blame.

If violence is suspected and further information is needed, start with broad questions such as:

  • ‘How are things at home?’

Then if violence is disclosed, ask more specific questions such as:

  • ‘Some men who are stressed like you hurt the people they love. Is this how you are feeling? Did you know that there are services that can help you?

Acknowledge the existence of violence by statements such as:

  • ‘That was brave of you to tell me. Sometimes people who are stressed hurt the people they love. However, violent behaviour towards your partner and other family members is never acceptable. It not only affects your partner but your children as well. Did you know there are services which may be able to assist you?’

You may wish to refer your patient to MensLine, phone 1300 78 99 78.

 10. Continuing care

12. When both partners are your patients