Need your expertise! DV victim resources

Specialties Forensic


Specializes in Urgent Care.

Hey! Urgent care nurse practitioner here. Ran into some road blocks tonight and thought y'all might have some thoughts. Patient came in tonight with severe panic attack. Not a ton we can do about this in urgent care but I can talk to them. Turns out patient's husband had gone to jail a few years ago for...well, trying to murder her. A couple of weeks ago one of his friends started coming around harassing her at all hours. She looked and realized the husband is getting out of jail early and she figures that why the friend started coming around. This realization causes the panic attack. She presents to me just apoplectic, shaking, crying. Vitals OK obviously just completely freaked out. I called our town DV shelter and they can't help because they can only help with intimate partner violence and because the spouse was in jail they couldn't risk their funding. They advised we call the police for an emergency protective order. We try the non-emergency police line and get an "unusually high call volume" message for 20 minutes. Tried 911 (like I'm worried someone is going to kill this woman) but am told this is not life or death and we need to call the non-emergency line. We explain that we were just stuck on hold with that but no other option. So we call non-emergency back. My MA is holding the line and I go talk to the patient. She manages to find a friend that she can stay with until the courthouse opens Tuesday so she can file a protective order. The friend calls off the last 2 hours of her work shift to come meet up with the patient. Meanwhile we closed the clinic 40 minutes ago and I was seriously starting to wonder if I was going to have to discharge this patient just to get murdered. I think we got her to a safe place but good grief! No help anywhere! Just she's on her own! Y'all deal in this sort of thing (probably?) more than I do. Any resources you know of? Or some way to work the system to get more help? It's the 3rd time I've had a patient come in with imminent DV situations that I've felt very helpless about (3 months in this job). Suggestions? Thoughts? 

Specializes in school.

Sounds like you have covered all your bases and tried all your resources. I know how frustrating it can be for you and for her. I'm glad she came to see you all. I would just continue to encourage a TRO, until a permanent one can be placed. and maybe she can consider one against the friend who started to come around.

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