Emory Emergency Medicine Physician Brings Awareness to Domestic Violence
With Host of Activities During Domestic Violence Awareness Month
ATLANTA – The facts are startling: According to the Georgia Bureau
of Investigation, there were more than 47,000 cases of domestic violence
reported in the state of Georgia in 2001. Of those cases, 20 percent
involved children, and an additional 42 percent of the incidents were
committed in the presence of children. Sixty-six of those reported cases
resulted in fatal injuries.
In 2001, 116 cases of domestic violence were reported at Grady Memorial
Hospitalís Emergency Care Center.
With those statistics in mind, Sheryl Heron, MD, MPH, associate professor
and associate residency director of emergency medicine at the Emory
University School of Medicine, hopes to bring more attention to the
issue of domestic violence during the month of October, which commemorates
Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The month marks several key events
that Dr. Heron is spearheading, including a lecture with co-faculty
member Deborah Houry, MD, also an expert on domestic violence, on Oct.
7 for Emory emergency medicine residents on "Domestic Violence: The
She is also spearheading the word commemorating the October 8th national
"Health Cares About Domestic Violence Day." Sponsored by the Family
Violence Prevention Fund, HCADV Day aims to reach members of the healthcare
community and educate them about the critical importance of screening
for domestic violence, as well as the long term health implications
of domestic violence and lifetime exposure to violence.
Dr. Heron is also working with church leaders at Antioch Baptist Church
North to recognize Domestic Violence Awareness Month on October 7th,
as well as further educating the congregation on how the faith community
can be part of the community-coordinated response to domestic violence.
On October 16, a candlelight march and vigil will be held at the Decatur
Square in downtown Decatur. It is being sponsored by the Decatur-based
Womenís Resource Center to End Domestic Violence, of which Dr. Heron
is a board member and has invited her medical colleagues to march with
her in support of this event.
Dr. Heron said it is particularly important for the medical community
and community-at-large to be concerned about the devastating impact
of domestic violence.
"Domestic violence is the number one cause of injury for women," said
Dr. Heron, who practices at Grady Hospital and devotes much of her medical
research to domestic violence. "It affects all persons involved, including
children. But, itís a preventable problem. If we bring awareness to
the issue, we can respond to it, and thatís just the right thing to
do, because everyone is entitled to live in a safe and violence-free
As part of her research involving domestic violence, Dr. Heron recently
received a grant from the Emory medical school to use standardized patients,
or locally-trained actors, as a tool for teaching medical students about
family violence within a family violence curriculum. The grant will
be used to strengthen the attitudes, knowledge and skills of those caring
for patients who present with issues of domestic violence.
For more information about Domestic Violence Awareness Month, or to
participate in any of the aforementioned activities, please call (404)
616-0714, or email Dr. Heron at email@example.com.