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 Information for Healthcare Providers


Referral to Chantel’s Place

Use Chantel’s Place at Mississauga Hospital site as your first point of contact for recent sexual assault and/or domestic violence clients
Non-urgent paediatric services and/or consultations are available by contacting Chantel’s Place at 905-848-7580 extension 2548

Reaching out to a survivor

Health-care providers are in a unique position to screen for patients undergoing Intimate Partner Violence and/or sexual abuse. We outline below a quick approach to screening for violence and abuse for the providers. It is important to ensure that clients are comfortable and the discussion is safe and private.

Screening tool for Intimate Partner Violence- HITS
How often does your partner:

  • Physically hurt you?
  • Insult or talk you down?
  • Threaten you with harm?
  • Scream or curse at you?

Score each item as Score each item using 1 to 5 as follows
never (1); rarely (2); sometimes (3); fairly often (4); frequently (5) .
A score greater than 10 is considered to be positive for IPV.
HITS adapted with permission from Kevin Sherin, MD, MPH (; copyright 2003.

Assessment of signs and symptoms of distress

Be mindful of:
fatigue, headache, gastrointestinal and cardiac symptoms, pelvic pain, sexual dysfunction, chronic pain, description of frequent and vague symptoms, substance abuse, anxiety or depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, missed appointments, social isolation.

For specific signs of abuse, look for:
reported mechanism of injury discordant with findings; multiple injury sites; repeated injury; contusions, abrasions, and minor lacerations to head, neck, torso, or abdominal, genital, or anal areas; burns; fractures; sprains; injury during pregnancy; delay in seeking care’
If patient denies suspected abuse, express concern, document findings and offer follow-up care and describe resources available for patients.’
Adapted from

Provide emotional support during client's disclosure:

  • I am glad you were able to tell me and I’m willing to listen
  • You aren’t responsible for the perpetrator’s actions; the perpetrator is responsible for his/her actions
  • I am hearing you blame yourself but the abuse is not your fault
  • There is help available when you are ready. I can provide you with more information
  • Would you like to speak with the social worker, the social worker can help you access many services
  • Everyone has the right to be safe in their home
  • Adapted from: Trevillion, Agnew-Davies & Howard, 2013
    Domestic Violence Toolkit for Health Care Providers in BC August 2014

Additional Resources

Module for Emergency Department heath-care providers:​