Issue date: 25 May 2004

ISSUE DATE: 25/05/04

A video to help train people working in the fields of domestic violence and maternal and child health was launched at the Royal College of Midwives Conference in Cardiff recently.

Entitled ‘Domestic violence in Pregnancy’, the video aims to highlight practical solutions for health professionals enquiring about domestic violence, particularly during pregnancy and the ante-natal period.

It employs a case-study approach, and introduces the audience to a fictional family where violence is occurring. The story is divided into four parts: the impact of violence on women and children; the barriers that health professionals may face when asking about violence; scenarios demonstrating effective ways to enquire about violence, and finally the support mechanisms that are available for practitioners and women.

Produced with an accompanying training pack, the video is one of several outcomes of a year-long research project at the University of the West of England. The project has already involved training 79 midwives from the North Bristol NHS Trust in dealing with this sensitive issue; assessing the effectiveness of the training; and producing a website offering best practice and guidance. The training and research was carried out by UWE’s Health and Social Care Faculty in collaboration with the Trust, and was funded by the Department of Health.

“This work has proved valuable in helping front-line staff. The training pack and video should be used in conjunction with a one-day introduction training programme,” said researcher Kathleen Baird, from UWE’s Faculty of Health and Social Care. “Research shows that a majority of women are in favour of routine questioning on this issue if it is carried out by a well-trained professional. It also revealed that midwives felt they needed more education and support on the topic, and the video and website could help in this way.”

Although the video is aimed primarily at training midwives, both pre- and post-registration, it could also be a useful tool for other health professionals who may come in contact with victims of domestic violence, including GPs, health visitors, practice nurses and A& E staff.


Editor’s notes

1. The video was launched at the Royal College of Midwives annual conference in Cardiff on 19 May 2004. Further information on the project is available at

2. Video produced by Mark-It Television for the University of the West of England, Bristol. Copyright Department of Health 2004. Acknowledgements to University of the West of England, Bristol and North Bristol NHS Trust. All rights reserved.

3. The video was produced as an extension to the Department of Health funded study entitled “An impact evaluation of the Bristol Pregnancy and Domestic violence Programme to promote the introduction of routine antenatal enquiry for domestic violence at North Bristol NHS Trust” by Debra Salmon, Kathleen Baird, Sally Price and Simon Murphy, 2004, Faculty of Health and Social Care, University of the West of England.

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