Revised April 2019
Reaffirmed June 2013
Originally approved October 2007, replacing rescinded policies: Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, Emergency Medicine and Domestic Violence, Management of Elder Abuse and Neglect, Support for Victims of Family Violence, and Mandatory Reporting of Domestic Violence to Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Agencies
The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) encourages emergency personnel to assess patients for family violence in all its forms, including that directed toward children, elders, intimate partners, and other family members. Such patients should be appropriately referred for help and detailed evaluation. Identification and assessment can be difficult as violence and maltreatment can encompass abuse in many different forms including neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, financial exploitation and intimidation.
ACEP opposes mandatory reporting of domestic violence to the criminal justice system. Instead, ACEP encourages partnering with and reporting of domestic violence to local social services, victims’ services, the criminal justice system, or any other appropriate resource agency to provide confidential counseling and assistance, in accordance with the patient’s wishes. Safety planning should be an important component of any screening process. In jurisdictions that have mandatory reporting requirements, persons reporting in good faith should be immune from liability for compliance.
ACEP recommends that: