Every October, with the help of the Center for Community Health and Health Equity (CCHHE), BWH takes part in national Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This year, the hospital is broadening its efforts and recognizing the month as Interpersonal Violence Awareness Month in order to educate and raise awareness of not only domestic violence, but all forms of violence that take place in our community, homes and institutions.
“Patients present with many forms of trauma and injury caused by violence,” said Mardi Chadwick, JD, director of Violence Intervention and Prevention Programs for the CCHHE. “By silo-ing care, we may be missing the larger context of our patients’ lives. Changing Domestic Violence Awareness Month to Interpersonal Violence Awareness Month is the first in many steps to re-envision how we understand and provide trauma-informed care to all patients.”
By focusing on the intersections of trauma and violence, the Brigham community is considering the ways in which trauma is differentially experienced across the lines of race, gender, culture, class, sexual identity and socioeconomic status, and how these many factors impact health.
“The more we learn about, recognize and support patients who have complicated experiences, the more we will advance in our efforts to achieve greater health and social equity for patients surviving trauma,” said Chadwick.
Several events will be held this month to generate awareness of interpersonal violence and promote safety and well-being for everyone in the BWH community. BWHers can stop by an information table in the 75 Francis St. lobby all month long to learn more and obtain resources about interpersonal violence.
Additionally, Schwartz Rounds on Oct. 13 will highlight a specific case related to community violence, and a service on Oct. 14 will honor all survivors, victims and community members impacted by violence and trauma, among other events. BWHers will also see the hospital’s “Do No Harm” campaign on the television screens across BWH and the distributed campus, featuring personal messages of hope, support and inspiration to those experiencing interpersonal violence.