Group releases new guidelines to help domestic violence victims

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Health care providers from Intermountain Healthcare are teaming up with the Utah Department of Health and Utah Domestic Violence Council in an effort to get more help to victims of domestic violence.

Tuesday, the group introduced a new protocol that teaches emergency department staff to identify, treat and report domestic violence concerns as well as to help victims develop a safety plan.

"Domestic violence should be considered a potential health problem for anyone who enters the doors of a medical facility, even if it's not the chief complaint," said Ned Searle with the Office on Domestic and Sexual Violence.

As many as one in four Utah families suffer from some level of domestic violence, and emergency departments are often the first line of defense for these families. Between 2001 and 2009 in Utah, 225 children, women and men lost their lives related to domestic violence.

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