cycle_of_violenceIn the Emergency Department, we too often under-estimate our patients’ likelihood for intimate partner violence (IPV). Unfortunately, there is no perfect screening test to detect this. So one must maintain a high index of suspicion. Once you detect it, what questions should you ask to ensure her/his safety and how do you optimize the resources available to her/him?

Created by Trevor Wilson (UCSF medical student) and Dr. Beth Kaplan (UCSF/SFGH), the following PV pocket card reviews how to screen, document, intervene, and provide resources for the patient. Learn the “SAFE” questions.1,2

PV Card: Intimate Partner Violence

You can download this PV card: [PDF].
Go to the ALiEM Cards site for more resources.

Ashur M. Asking about domestic violence: SAFE questions. JAMA. 1993;269(18):2367. [PubMed]
Moyer V, U.S. P. Screening for intimate partner violence and abuse of elderly and vulnerable adults: U.S. preventive services task force recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2013;158(6):478-486. [PubMed]
Michelle Lin, MD
ALiEM Editor-in-Chief
Professor and Digital Innovation Lab Director
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of California, San Francisco
Michelle Lin, MD


Professor of Emerg Med at UCSF-Zuckerberg San Francisco General. Founder of ALiEM @aliemteam #PostitPearls
Michelle Lin, MD