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In view to the pandemic of SARS-CoV-2, social distancing and isolation measures are applied to countries all around the globe. These measures have helped to curb the spread of the disease without doubt.

But these work from home and isolation protocols also bought in negative effects like an increase in cases of domestic violence. The British Dental Journal recently proposed a paper which highlights the role a dental professional (especially Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons) can play in such situations. It also describes how we can better help patients who have been the victims of such abuse.

According to UN Women—a United Nations body dedicated to gender equality—the outbreak of COVID-19 has been accompanied by a shadow pandemic of increased domestic violence against women. In Argentina, for example, emergency calls related directly to instances of domestic violence have risen by 25% since the pandemic began. Meanwhile, a survey from the Australian Institute of Criminology has revealed that a shocking 8.8% of Australian women in a relationship were subjected to violence by a cohabiting partner between February and May this year.

ROLE OF DENTISTS IN HELPING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS:

It is estimated that about 65% to 75% of physical domestic violence results in facial trauma. Thus, dentists can play a major role in identifying the victims and immediately referring them to appropriate agencies and services.

Sometimes it may happen that the perpetrator of the violence may be present along with the victim. In such cases approaching the victim may become difficult.

According to the authors, this is particularly true if a consultation is performed via telephone while the patient is in his or her home. In such instances, it can be helpful to arrange a referral to a suitable agency through another communication method or, if possible, discreetly provide the patient with a contact number to be used at a safer time.

Dr Paul Coulthard, co-author of the study and deaone unexpected bright spot of the pandemic will be the creation of new ways for dental professional teams to safely identify and contact domestic violence victims.n for dentistry, institute director and professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Queen Mary University of London’s Institute of Dentistry hopes that one unexpected bright spot of the pandemic will be the creation of new ways for dental professional teams to safely identify and contact domestic violence victims.

“There has been a heightened awareness of the increased risk of domestic violence and abuse because of restrictions on movement and the need for household isolation, so dental professionals and the oral maxillofacial surgery team should be increasing their alertness and commitment to identification and referral,” Coulthard said.

SOURCE: The British Dental Journal.

Dr Zainab Kasid
Dr Zainab A Rangwala completed graduation from GDC, Jamnagar She is practicing since 3 years. Avid reader and writer by passion.

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