Detecting Intimate Partner Violence More Quickly

Published research indicates that nearly one-third of women reported that they were presently experiencing some form of intimate partner violence (IPV) when they were asked about these occurrences during an ED visit. When questioned about their past, nearly 50% of women reported being victims of IPV. In addition, other research has demonstrated that 56% of victimized female patients presenting to the ED also report perpetration behaviors. Studies that have focused on detecting perpetrators of IPV in the ED suggest that screening is effective, but few of these individuals are actually identified in medical settings despite frequently being in attendance. Testing a Shorter Screening Tool for IPV The gold standard for detecting perpetrators of IPV in the ED has historically been the 25-question Physical Abuse of Partner Scale (PAPS). Although the PAPS is an effective, validated questionnaire, the length of time needed to administer it is not practical for a short visit in the ED. In the February 2012 Journal of Emergency Medicine, my colleagues and I had a study published in which we developed a shorter IPV screening alternative to the PAPS. We developed the PErpetration RaPid Scale (PERPS) by validating a shortened version of the PAPS consisting of three questions: 1. Have you ever forced your partner to have sex or hurt your partner during sex? 2. Have you ever pushed or shoved or poked your partner violently? 3. Have you ever hit or punched your partner’s arms, body, head, or face? Unlike the PAPS, which uses a Likert scale for its 25 questions, PERPS has the potential to be administered more quickly because it uses only “yes/no”...