It is not easy to bring up these issues, but it is critically important. Think carefully about your manner of speaking and your actions before you begin to ask these questions. Incorporate questions about domestic violence in your standard intake process to minimize the stigma and encourage disclosure.

Here are some examples of questions to integrate into your standard interview for any new client:

  • Has your intimate partner ever pushed, slapped, hit or hurt you in some way?
  • Has your intimate partner ever hurt or threatened you?
  • Has your intimate partner ever forced you to do something you did not want to do?
  • Is there anything that goes on at home that makes you feel afraid?
  • Does your intimate partner prevent you from eating or sleeping, or endanger your health in other ways?
  • Has your intimate partner ever hurt your pets or destroyed your clothing, objects in your home, or something you especially cared about?
  • Has your intimate partner taken the children without permission, threatened to never let them see you again, or otherwise harmed them?

SOURCE: American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence