Kentucky has the highest rate of partner abuse and sexual violence in the country with 45 percent of women saying they have been abused by a partner.
Dr. Ernest Jouriles researches domestic violence at Southern Methodist University. He said broader screening can help connect those in abusive situations with support.
Jouriles urged primary care doctors and other health providers to ask questions about potential abuse. Traditionally, he says, doctors have been uncomfortable broaching the topic with their patients.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men are victims of sexual abuse in their lifetime. Jouriles spoke at the 20th Annual Ending Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Conference this week in Lexington.
Jouriles said a growing body of research is also showing how children are impacted by abuse in the home, including developmental delays and severe anxiety.
For more information about domestic violence check out the CDC.