Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Nursing Best Practice Guidelines

How Should a Nurse Respond When Abuse is Identified?

Initial Response: A series of responses by nurses to a disclosure of abuse. These responses are:

  • acknowledging the abuse;
  • validating the woman’s experience;
  • assessing immediate safety;
  • exploring options;
  • referring to violence against women services at the woman’s request; and
  • documenting the interaction.