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SOURCE The National Family Justice Center Alliance
SAN DIEGO, Feb. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Family Justice Center Alliance has released the results of a national survey of domestic violence survivors – identifying major unmet needs and significant long-term health impacts from violence and abuse.
The survey, conducted in Family Justice Centers across the United States during a one week period last fall, found that victims and their children are uninsured or underinsured, rarely receive needed medical, dental, and vision services, and fail to understand the profound short and long-term impacts of the violence and abuse they are suffering at the hands of abusive partners.
The major findings of the study included:
The Alliance is calling for all domestic violence agencies, Family Justice Centers, and other community-based service providers to:
"This is a life and death issue for victims of domestic violence," said Casey Gwinn, President of the Alliance. "The consequences of violence produces long-term medical issues, chronic health problems, and shortened life span," said Gwinn. The Alliance study includes the following findings:
The health effects of domestic violence are vast and long lasting, affecting nearly every aspect of health. Beyond direct injuries from physical abuse, victims suffer disproportionately from indirect effects of long-term abuse:
"Today, thousands of survivors of domestic violence have unaddressed medical, dental, and vision needs across the United States," said Alliance CEO Gael Strack. "Most community-based domestic violence agencies do not have the capacity to meet these needs. Criminal justice interventions, social services, civil legal services, mental health counseling, and other assistance is available in many communities, and multi-agency and multi-disciplinary approaches such as Family Justice Centers are bringing together more accessible services under one roof. But health related services are not generally included even in the most dynamic multi-agency, multi-disciplinary service approaches," said Strack.
Dr. Dean Hawley, one of leading forensic pathologists in the United States points out: "The Affordable Care Act may well be a system changer to help address the needs of domestic violence victims. Doctors want to provide services to these victims but a funding stream is critical."
The National Family Justice Center Alliance is working with the Verizon Foundation, Blue Shield of California Foundation, and other allied national organizations to address health needs of survivors of domestic violence and their children, particularly in Family Justice Centers or other types of multi-agency, multi-disciplinary service approaches that serve victims of domestic violence.
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