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Colorado State Flag
Wednesday, September 23, 2020  

RNs asked to help improve educational opportunitiesPublished 11/13/2007

by Sid Goldwell

Staff Writer

The Center on Domestic Violence at the University of Colorado, in partnership with the School of Nursing, is asking Colorado registered nurses to fill out a short survey to better measure the need for educational opportunities about "intimate partner violence," or IPV, for health professionals.

The survey is an effort to support nurses in addressing domestic violence issues.

Barbara Paradiso, director of the Center on Domestic Violence, said the center has been working closely with the University’s School of Nursing to explore the possibilities of developing a certificate in Interpersonal Violence for health care providers.

"We hope to accomplish three goals with the study," said Paradiso. "The study will determine how well and in what ways nurses in Colorado have been prepared to address intimate partner violence (IPV) in their practice, what experience nurses in the state have with IPV and is there a need for knowledge in this area, and is there an interest in further education on IPV among Colorado nurses."

The center’s mission is to end domestic violence by fostering institutional and social change through leadership development, education, research, and community collaboration.

"In order to be sure we are addressing the real world needs of nurses, we have created a short survey," Paradiso said. "Our goal is to reach as many nurses as possible.

"We are reaching out in every way we can think of to get the broadest base of response."

Paradiso has worked on behalf of battered women and children for more than 20 years as an advocate, administrator and activist.

She has presented and provided consultation to organizations on a local, state and national level for more effective nonprofit administration and topics related to domestic violence against women and their children.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 5.3 million incidents of "intimate partner violence" occur each year in the United States, resulting in close to 2 million injuries and 1,300 deaths nationwide.

The term IPV is addressed in the survey as the use of physical, emotional, psychological harm to establish or maintain control over another person in the context of a current or previous intimate relationship, regardless of gender or legal status.

Approved by the University’s Internal Review Board for Human Subjects Research, participants take the survey online and completely anonymously.

The 36 questions should take about 15 minutes to complete, Paradiso said, and cover the nurse’s past education and training related to domestic violence issues, current practice as a nurse and situations of IPV, and their opinions about IPV-related questions, like "intimate partner violence is a crime" and "all patients should be screened for IPV."

There are also a few optional questions, like if the participant has ever experienced an abusive relationship or what forms of further education would he or she be interested in.

"We have no way of telling who has completed the survey," Paradiso stressed, because the nurse is simply provided a web link which directs them to the survey.

She said the information from the survey results will help the center understand the knowledge and skills that should be included in the nurse training based on the actual demands experienced on the job.

"Recognizing that (nurses) may have had courses in the topic or that this content may have been incorporated into the training received, we need help to find out what additional training and education is needed," she said.

Registered nurses who preferably have at least one year of work experience in the field are preferred to complete the survey.

Once the survey is complete, it will be compiled and analyzed, said Paradiso.

"The Center on Domestic Violence is working with the UCD School of Nursing and an Advisory Committee of folks across the state who are interested in making more concentrated studies on domestic violence available to health care providers and students," Paradiso said.

"The results of the survey will guide those efforts."

The survey is available for completion at:

For those printing out a hard copy from the website and completing the survey, it can be mailed directly to Paradiso at UCD Center on Domestic Violence, P.O. Box 173364, CB 142, Denver, Colorado 80217-3364.

For more information, contact Paradiso at 303-315-2736 or email her at

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