INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE (IPV) is now recognized as acommon and significant source of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The impact falls most directly and severely on women as a result of multiple mechanisms including intentional injury from physical assault, deprivation, neglect, psychiatric morbidity, and stress-related illness. However, children and other family members are often direct and second-hand victims of intimate partner violence. Both direct and second-hand exposure to IPV are associated with an increased risk of illness during the period of exposure, and for years after the person has escaped the violent environment. Because of these health consequences, many professional organizations now recognize that physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals have an important role to play in identifying victims of IPV, intervening to help victims of IPV, and ultimately preventing IPV.