If she answers to domestic abuse screening:


“I just want you to know that if anything like this ever does come up, this is a safe place to talk about it and get help.”

Yes, in the past

  • see How to respond
  • Document (see Documenting)
  • Is it over (stalking)?
  • Has she recovered?
    Assess depression, anxiety, PTSD
  • Educate about effects on health
  • Refer for counseling and/or community DV services (see Hotlines)


Yes, presently (no injuries)

Yes, presently (with injuries)

  • see How to respond
  • Call Social Services 3-5091
  • See Reporting for documentation and forms, with written report needing to be sent to police within 48 hours
  • Call Police Dept. where incident occurred (call Palo Alto PD at 650-329-2413, and they will give you appropriate phone number)
  • If abuser is in building, call security 3-7222
  • Patient safety plan for when abuser is released (see Safety)
  • Refer to DV hotline services

[Adapted from California Medical Training Center Guidelines for the Health Care of Intimate Partner Violence]



We have two SUMC laminated pocket abuse assessment and reporting cards specific for either MDs or RNs. Send an email to with your name and departmental mailing address.

Would you like domestic abuse patient referral and resource sheets (in 7 languages)? See Patient Materials