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Perpetrators of domestic violence are predominantly men, and victims/survivors are usually women and children. Men who use violence in their relationships may present to general practice with relationship problems, mental health issues or substance abuse. Domestic violence has a significant negative impact on the health and wellbeing of the whole family. General practitioners (GPs) potentially play a pivotal role in identification, response and referral to men’s behavioural change services.
This article aims to describe how GPs can identify and respond to men who use violence in their relationships. It takes into account that male perpetrators are not a homogenous group, coming from all socioeconomic and cultural groups.
GPs have a role in the identification, management and referral of men who use violence in their relationships. Great care needs to be taken when GPs are seeing the whole family, to ensure the safety of women and children.