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Using awareness and resources to help Utahns who experience domestic violence

Using awareness and resources to help Utahns who experience domestic violence

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April is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Intermountain Healthcare is donating $540,000 and partnering with the nonprofit Utah Domestic Violence Coalition (UDVC) to assist Utahns needing help in recovering from the impact of violence and abuse.

Data in Utah shows that one in six women and one in 25 men experience rape or attempted rape during their lifetime, and one in three women will experience some form of sexual violence during their lives.

The Utah Domestic Violence Coalition says that in a women's lifetime, one in three women will experience domestic violence in Utah.

The donation from Intermountain will help cover operations costs of Utah Domestic Violence Coalition programs that support community organizations such as violence prevention networks and shelters. These organizations provide appropriate resources to domestic violence victims and their families to get to safety and begin to rebuild and heal from trauma.

"That funding means so much to the coalition and state of Utah. Especially because one of our biggest healthcare providers sees this as an important support. This is part of our health, of the health of our families, and our state. It takes funding to run programs," said Leah Moses, CNM, an Intermountain Healthcare certified nurse-midwife and board member for the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition.

Moses' interaction on the UDVC board of directors helps provide support for shelter locations and organizations that aren't in a brick-and-mortar base that provide resources to Utahns affected by domestic violence.

Through her position as a nurse-midwife at the Intermountain Layton Parkway Hospital and Women's Health Clinic, Moses helps educate and inform patients about domestic violence awareness by providing interpersonal violence screenings in annual visits and first-time pregnancy visits.

Her focus is to screen women in current violence situations, as well as those who have experienced domestic violence or sexual assault in the past, and for these screenings to become part of the standard of care.

Women who screen positive for domestic violence are provided resources promoting mental and physical health, and in case of imminent danger, are given safety resources.

A personal perspective

With her own background and personal experience as a survivor of domestic violence, Moses understands the importance of advocacy. Care by competent nurse-midwives during her pregnancies played a critical part in saving her life by screening and recognizing red flags for domestic violence.

As a result, she and her children found resources to start down the sometimes very long road to safety and recovery. She changed her career to medicine and promised she would help others in need.

"We need to get to a place where violence and abuse is intolerable," said Moses. "My professional purpose is to make sure the women I care for feel safe and empowered. I know if I can do that, they will turn around and help create a healthier next generation."

If you, a friend or a family member are impacted by domestic violence, free confidential resources are available. Please contact UDVC Link Line at 1-800-897-LINK (5465).

To learn more about the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition, visit udvc.org.

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