There were the standard topics to be addressed around whether he was eating/sleeping/pooping OK. Is his speech on track? Does he have the cognitive skills they would expect to see? All important stuff so no qualms there.
A few of the tick boxes on the paperwork even related to me and my health and wellbeing. It always throws me when someone asks if I’m OK. I feel as though I have to stop and consider my current status for a moment. Then I panic that I’ve taken too long which will arouse suspicion!
Anyway… the health visitor moved on to a set of questions she prefaced with some kind of general intro like, “we have to ask everyone these ones”. The questions were:
Is your partner supportive?
Does he make you feel looked after/ well-treated?
Do you ever feel in danger because of your partner?
Have you ever been in a relationship where you were subjected to violence?
There were others but I can’t remember them all and those above have been paraphrased.
I pointed out that I was a little surprised to be at my umpteenth appointment, spanning three children and 14 years, and had never been asked anything remotely close. She advised she could only ask them as I was alone so perhaps my partner was present on previous occasions. Hmm. Guess that makes sense.
This evening I gave my husband the run-down. As expected, he’s fine. She knew when she met him 18 months ago that he had already hit his cognitive markers and could talk the hind legs off a donkey. I then asked him about the ‘abuse’ questions, continuing with examples when I found myself staring in to a blank expression.
Nope. The health visitor didn’t ask him. He was most certainly on his own. It was the same health visitor. But it would seem that it is not deemed necessary to ascertain if a man is in an abusive, violent, or dangerous relationship. It is not even considered relevant to ask if the mother is supportive.
I am afraid it does not take a PhD to see why, where, and how this is a very poor protocol.
Why can’t we – humankind – get this stuff right?
If you have ever been affected, please seek support www.victimsupport.org.uk/help-and-support/get-help
#healthvisitor #humanity #domesticabuse #men #women #equality
I would just like to point out that the health visitor was perfectly pleasant and professional. I would go so far as to say that, of all the health visitors I have invariably met once and then avoided, she is actually the kind of health professional I'd always hoped for. In no way am I criticising her, neither personally nor professionally.