The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) have said there needs to be a wider understanding in health and social care to help people suffering from domestic violence and abuse, as it published new guidelines to help frontline staff.
Recommendations from the new guidance include:
Greater information in waiting rooms about the support on offer for those affected by domestic violence
Frontline staff should be trained to recognise the indicators of domestic violence
Staff should also ask questions to help people "disclose their past or current experiences"
Conversations should be made in private in an environment where the person feels safe
Staff should be clear on how to refer people on to other services for specialist help and should receive expert training
Doctors and nurses in the NHS should be trained to recognise domestic abuse and encouraged to ask questions, new guidelines suggest.
At least 1.2 million women and 784,000 men experience domestic violence and abuse in England and Wales every year, with one in three women and nearly one in five men experiencing it at some point in their lives.
However, the organisation suggests the figures are likely to underestimate the problem and have issued guidelines to raise awareness among key workers coming into contact with victims in repression.
Frontline staff should be specially trained to ask relevant questions to people they suspect may have experienced abuse in an environment where the person feels safe, Nice said.