4. How to Assess for IPV

Conducting IPV assessments should be done in a private, confidential setting apart from family members and friends so that the patient feels safe to disclose issues of abuse.

Assessment Questions

How to Introduce the Topic of IPV: 

“Because violence is so common in many people’s lives, I’ve begun to ask all my patients about it routinely”. 11

Direct Questions to Ask:

  • Are you in a relationship with a person who physically hurts or threatens you?
  • Does your partner control your activities, money or children?
  • Are you afraid at home?
  • Did someone cause these injuries? Who?
  • Has your partner ever forced you to have sex when you didn’t want to?
  • How long has the violence been going on? 12


  • 11 National Consensus Guidelines on Identifying and Responding to Domestic Violence Victimization in Health Care Settings, Produced by Futures Without Violence
  • 12 National Consensus Guidelines, Future Without Violence, 2004.

Resource Material

Click here for a pocket-sized “Domestic Violence Assessment Guide” is a downloadable tool for medical providers produced by Futures Without Violence.

To order free laminated 3" x 5" guides click here

Click here for the RADAR IPV assessment tool: a one-page form that provides specific questions to ask patients and provides space to document findings, including a Body Map of Injuries. 

RADAR is an acronym for:

  1. Routinely Screen
  2. Ask Direct Questions
  3. Document Your Findings
  4. Assess Patient Safety
  5. Review Options and Referrals

Click here for additional evidenced-based IPV assessment tools from the CDC’s “Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Victimization Assessment Instruments for Use in Healthcare Settings”.