Domestic Abuse – How to Manage

What should we do where we suspect possible abuse:

    • Be vigilant and sensitive to signs of potential abuse.
    • These signs might include recurring injuries around the eyes, unconvincing explanations about the cause of injuries, or sudden changes in behaviour.
    • Accurately document any signs or symptoms of abuse in the patient’s records.
    • Show empathy and let the patient guide the conversation, recognising that they may not be ready to disclose their experiences.
    • Consider Children seeing, hearing or experiencing domestic abuse. Discuss with the safeguarding lead.
    • Consult with the Safeguarding Lead who can guide you on the next steps, which may involve contacting the local authority’s safeguarding team.
    • Provide the patient with contacts for organisations such as the National Domestic Violence Hotline or local support services.
    • Optometrists should remember their role is not to intervene directly but to support and guide patients to the right resources, always maintaining patient safety, confidentiality, and trust.
    • If you are concerned about a vulnerable adult, call 0344 800 8020. If you are concerned about a child call 0344 800 8021

For more details and an action flowchart CLICK HERE