About Our Violence Prevention Program
Our mission is to identify patients impacted by domestic violence, human trafficking and sexual assault; respond with culturally competent and trauma-informed care, support and referrals and prevent these forms of violence through education, training, awareness raising and advocacy
The Violence Prevention Program began in 2014 as part of Swedish Hospital's Women's Health Initiative with seed funding provided by Swedish Hospital Foundation. Over time, additional funding was provided by private foundations, corporate sponsors and Swedish Hospital Foundation's annual gala.
In fiscal year 2018, the program received federal funding through the Department of Justice's Office for Victims of Crime to support hospital-based victim services over the next two years.
Why Health Care Providers and Staff are Equipped to Address Interpersonal Violence
The health care setting may be one of the only places where survivors can speak with a professional alone and have the opportunity to disclose their abuse—but this is only possible when a trusting relationship can be established. Unless that medical provider is trained to identify red flags and subtle signs of abuse and to develop rapport and trust, the opportunity to effectively support the patient is lost.
Health care providers and staff are well-equipped to address interpersonal violence because they:
- Have access to a high volume of diverse patients
- Are privy to sensitive information
- Have the ability to speak with patients alone
- Are in a position to document and collect forensic evidence of abuse
Violence and abuse are also key health care concerns, as unhealthy relationships impact patients' health.
In order to take advantage of this potentially life-saving opportunity, the VPP trains healthcare providers and allied professionals to screen patients, assess their immediate needs, engage in safety planning, provide them with comfort care packages and educational resources and connect them with community-based partner agencies-including safe transport to emergency shelters, legal advocacy, and counseling.
Measurable outcomes since March 2015, include:
- More than 750 patients and staff impacted by domestic violence served
- 275 patients cared for at Swedish Hospital after being sexually assaulted.
- 30 patients showed red flags for human trafficking
- 20 survivors of human trafficking referred to Swedish Hospital for medical care
- 1,500 providers and staff trained
A Full Continuum of Care
Our Violence Prevention Program provides…
- Education to our employees to help them recognize interpersonal violence.
- Clinical Excellence through the development of expertise in how to treat special health care needs associated with interpersonal violence.
- Immediate Support through on-site crisis intervention, safety planning, safe transportation, phones, advocacy and education.
- Long-Term Support by connecting survivors to counseling, legal services, case management, housing, economic empowerment and drug/alcohol treatment.
To learn more about the Violence Prevention Program or how you can help, please contact Swedish Hospital Foundation at Foundation@SwedishCovenant.org or 773-293-5121.