Mental Health Services Putting Women at Risk by failing to ask about domestic abuse

Mental health services are “putting women at risk” by failing to ask them about their experience of domestic abuse, a new report has found.

The study, carried out by Agenda, a charity which campaigns for women and girls at risk, found more than a third of NHS mental health trusts are failing to ask women about domestic abuse in spite of recommended guidelines.

Campaigners argue it is especially important mental health services ask about domestic abuse given the high rates of violence and abuse suffered by those who access them. Some 38 per cent of women who have a mental health problem have experienced domestic abuse.

The report found there is a postcode lottery in the support mental health services are providing to survivors – with one trust saying they asked just three per cent of patients about domestic abuse.

This is at direct loggerheads with National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (Nice) guidelines which specifically stipulate everyone should be asked.

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