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Information for Health Care 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

Health care providers are in a unique position to screen for patients undergoing Intimate Partner Violence and/or sexual abuse. It is important to ensure that clients are comfortable and the discussion is safe and private. Below you can find links to several tools to help providers in reaching out to and assessing survivors.

Screening tool for Intimate Partner Violence - HITS
Assessing the signs and symptoms of distress
Providing emotional support during client's disclosure

Additional Resources​

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 Intimate Partner Violence. 
HITS adapted with permission from Kevin Sherin, MD, MPH (; copyright 2003.

Assessing the 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

Providing 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