In 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

Go to ALiEM (PV) Cards for more resources.


  1. Ashur M. Asking about domestic violence: SAFE questions. JAMA. 1993;269(18):2367. [PubMed]
  2. 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 Founder and CEO
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 SF General. ALiEM Founder @aliemteam #PostitPearls at Bio:
Michelle Lin, MD