What GPs can do to support victims of partner abuse

When a patient presents with bruises and an unplanned pregnancy, it is crucial that her GP provides committed and non-judgemental support.

Read the full series of our special report: Doctors Act on Domestic Violence

Eva is a 25-year-old hairdresser who presents requesting a health check. She is a frequent attendee at the practice but seems to have no regular doctor.

She has no significant medical history and takes no regular medications. She smokes 10 cigarettes a day and is an occasional binge-drinker.


Eva has a BMI of 19.5kg/m2. Her vitals are within normal limits. Cardiorespiratory and abdominal examination are unremarkable.

During examination, a fading bruise on the small of her back is noted, as well as bruising on the forearms and scars from previous lacerations on both wrists.

At the conclusion of the examination, Eva asks if you could perform a pregnancy test. The