Violence in close relationships is a serious societal- and health issue with severe consequences for the victim. It is therefore essential that the healthcare system is able to identify both perpetrators and victims of violence, and to initiate appropriate measures. Suitable routines in the healthcare system are a prerequisite in being able to identify and meet both the victim and perpetrator of violence so that they receive adequate help and as quickly as possible.
In order for good routines to be sustainable and consistent, despite being used by different assistance services, these routines must be supported by standards, instructions, procedures and other guidelines. Developing guidelines will also facilitate increasing the level of quality within the public health care system, clarify the basis of knowledge and contribute to quality control. Furthermore guidelines can strengthen collaboration between the different services, and can give collaborating services an overview of how the different services work, thereby clarify the work distribution.
As a part of the government’s action plan on violence in close relationships 2014 – 2017 “A life without violence” the Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies has developed an overview of existing guidelines and instruments for disclosing violence in close relationships within the healthcare system. This overview builds a foundation for further evaluation of areas in need of new procedures or guidelines, and showed that guidelines for disclosing violence against the elderly and neglected children, as well as disclosing abuse within psychiatric health care for children and adults is scarce.