Why don't NZ doctors screen patients for domestic violence? / Stuff
With one in three New Zealand women saying they've experienced physical or sexual violence in a relationship, why don't Kiwi doctors have a mandate to respond to evidence of domestic violence?
He came home one night, drunk, and punched their daughter in the back as she lay in bed.
Another time, he dropped their baby boy on the concrete.
He would bash the kids in front of his partner, Angela. And when she wasn't watching.
She spent her days in psychological turmoil: Terrified, alone, and trapped. All she thought about was protecting her children.
"You get into a horrible place where you don't know what to do," she said.
"I tried to take the kids but he wouldn't let me . . . I had been with him so long that he had isolated me from my friends and family."
Angela finally felt able to leave Dave* after a hospital doctor asked if she felt safe at home.
"My GP never asked anything along those lines, never ever," she says now.
"I was on antidepressants to cope, and you'd think at that point the doctor would think: 'Hang on, what else is going on here?'"