FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUSTIN, Calif., October, 2023– Domestic violence is a silent epidemic. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, nearly 20 people per minute experience abuse by an intimate partner. In the course of a year, this equates to 10 million domestic violence victims. Domestic violence isn’t a gendered issue. In California alone, 34.9% of women and 31.1% of men experience intimate partner violence.
Responding to the urgent need for awareness and intervention, this Domestic Violence Awareness Month Families Together of Orange County Community Health Center is rolling out specialized domestic violence workshops aimed at equipping its staff with tools to identify and assist potential victims seeking help.
There will be two workshops: one tailored for medical providers, addressing the recognition of warning signs, legal mandates, and reporting requirements; and another for general staff, offering an overview of domestic violence, discussing reasons for individuals remaining in abusive relationships, and highlighting the signs to watch for. These signs include unexplained injuries, patients seeming fearful when disclosing information, and controlling behavior from partners.
Yvette Visconte, LCSW, the Clinical Director of Behavioral Health at Families Together, emphasizes the importance of initiating dialogues. “Simple questions, like asking a patient if they feel safe at home, can be monumental in paving the way for deeper conversations about domestic abuse,” Visconte explains.
Recognizing the challenge many healthcare providers face in initiating such crucial conversations, she adds, “However, when it comes to victims of domestic abuse, healthcare providers can struggle to initiate the conversation. That’s precisely why we are taking proactive steps. By offering specialized training workshops to our staff, we aim to equip them with the tools, knowledge, and resources they need to spot the signs and take immediate, effective action to protect and assist the patient.”
With a Behavioral Health team that boasts of experts with firsthand experience from emergency shelters and community clinics, Families Together is poised to provide unparalleled insight and assistance to domestic abuse victims. It’s this expertise, honed through rigorous training and real-world experience, that empowers the team to accurately identify abuse signs, subsequently empowering patients, educating them on their trauma, and guiding them towards a path of healing and safety.
Beyond immediate intervention, Families Together offers an integrated care approach, collaborating with established organizations such as Human Options, Legal Aid Society, and Laura’s House. Through this holistic approach, they provide patients with essential resources, including legal advocacy, educational classes, and community support.
Looking forward, Families Together will soon introduce the Enhanced Care Management (ECM) program, a new statewide Medi-Cal benefit designed to offer comprehensive care management to individuals with complex needs. This initiative seeks to extend support to individuals who may be facing homelessness due to domestic violence or those grappling with chronic medical conditions alongside domestic violence.
“We’re not just opening our doors; we’re reaching out, pioneering, and creating pathways for healing and hope,” states Visconte. If you or someone you know is in need, contact Families Together at 1 (800) 597-7977 or visit the Families Together website to request an appointment. More information on domestic violence support services can also be accessed online.
About Families Together of Orange County
Since 2003, Families Together of Orange County Community Health Center (FTOC) has proudly served the Orange County community with a myriad of health services while providing a welcoming, multi-lingual and patient -centered medical home to all. FTOC is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, FQHC look-alike, a member of the Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers and the CPCA.Please visit www.facebook.com/FamiliesTogetherOC for more information on Families Together of Orange County and for the latest updates.