Domestic Violence Program

Domestic violence, or intimate partner violence, is a pattern of behaviors by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship. Domestic/intimate partner violence can affect anyone at any time.

Developing Options for Violent Emergencies

At St. Elizabeth Healthcare, we offer Domestic Options for Violent Emergencies – the DOVE program. Our DOVE Nurse receives specialized education and training in providing compassionate, patient-centered, trauma-informed care to victims of domestic/intimate partner violence. We are available 24/7 in any of our Emergency Departments, to anyone who needs our services.

You may choose to have one of our nurses perform a Domestic Violence Forensic Exam. This exam may include:

  • Documenting a history of the physical and/or psychological abuse you have endured, in a confidential area of your medical record with limited access.
  • Performing a head-to-toe examination to assess for injuries, and photographing them.
  • Documenting your injuries in a confidential area of your medical record with limited access.
  • Collecting forensic evidence from your neck, if you were strangled within the past 24 hours and have not showered.
  • Providing you with safety resources.

Here are some things to know about what to expect through the DOVE program:

  • The documentation of your history and your injuries can be a powerful healing tool. We use a trauma-informed approach, and you will guide the exam; we will never do anything that you do not want us to do.

  • Our exams are completely confidential.

  • Our exams are free of charge to all patients.

  • You do not have to report to the police to receive an exam.

  • You may choose to have an advocate with you to support you during the exam, free of charge.

  • We can connect you with resources for safety planning, emotional support, and medico-legal follow-up services.

Adult woman on the bench thinking.

How to Reach Us

If you are a victim-survivor, please call the DOVE program at (859) 212-4252 from 7:00am – 3:00pm, Monday through Friday. Outside of office hours or in case of an emergency, please directly visit any of our Emergency Department locations:

Other Agencies That Can Help

This is not your fault. We believe you.