In a landmark recommendation this past week, the nation’s leading panel of scientists agreed that every woman should have access to screening for domestic and intimate partner violence within her health coverage. For several years, domestic violence and sexual assault agencies and coalitions; most notably – Futures Without Violence, have advocated for routine screening and assessment to help women who have been sexually and physically abused, prevent further violence, and improve the health of millions across the country. Finally we are here!
This recommendation from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) sends a strong message about the benefits of health care interventions for women. Futures Without Violence has been a leader in an extensive effort to gather relevant research to support screening, coordinate advocacy groups to support the need, and work with members of Congress and to promote the issue.
The IOM determined that rates of violence are significant, and the data they reviewed confirmed that women can be helped by screening and counseling. As one of the Committee members stated, screening “can lead to positive interventions.”
Leaders are calling this one of the biggest advances for women’s health in a generation and clearly it is THE biggest health policy advancement related to domestic violence.
Guidelines based on the IOM recommendations will be issued by Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sebelius by August 2nd to determine coverage of preventive health care screenings and care for women with no additional copayments or deductibles. Other IOM recommendations included coverage for a full range of reproductive health services including contraception. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance plans will be required to cover the services recommended by HHS. Through this coverage, and with training for health care providers Futures Without Violence offers, we have the opportunity to improve the health and lives of thousands of abused women and children.
Futures Without Violence
100 Montgomery Street, The Presidio
San Francisco, CA 94129-1718
tel: 415.678.5500 | fax: 415-529-2930