WIFR: Mercyhealth Conference Keynote Speaker Discusses Domestic Violence

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) — Nearly 30 percent of reported crimes involved domestic violence according to Rockford police. At Mercyhealth’s annual pediatric conference, the impacts that domestic violence has on the brain were front and center.

Linn Carter, System Director of Women’s and Children’s Services at Mercyhealth says nurses are often times the first line of defense in domestic violence cases, “As nurses, we look at the whole person, the whole family. We’re assessing domestic violence.”

“This is a dynamic that happens not only with two people but also with the family that those two people are involved,” says Evelyn Perkins, Manager of Patient Care and Psychiatry at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Perkins was the keynote speaker at the conference.

Perkins says there are signs that healthcare professionals can look for. “You can have a woman who doesn’t eat sugar, with a healthy diet, but constantly having this increase in blood sugar. It’s an opportunity for nurses and doctors to say, ‘What’s going on with your home life?'”

Studies show that the abuser could be committing cycles of violence to make up for a chemical imbalance and compares the behavior to an addiction. Perkins says education is key in getting victims to open up about their situations.

This is the fourth year Mercyhealth has held the conference with healthcare professionals from as far away as southern Illinois in attendance.

To watch the original report, click here.

Mercyhealth MyChart Sign In