Arkansas Ranked first in the nation for African American women killed by domestic violence

SEARCY, Ark. — According to data published by the FBI, Arkansas is in the top three states for domestic violence homicides. The state is also ranked first in the nation for African American women killed by domestic violence and fourth in the nation for reported domestic violence incidents.

When Harding physician assistant students Emery Camp, David Pritchett, Robert Sanderson and Randall Seeman learned of these alarming numbers, they chose this cause as the focus of their master’s project.

“The problem of violence is a fundamental issue to all of humanity,”
Pritchett said. “My hope is that this project can be a small step in the making of peace.”

The group is currently distributing information packets to primary care and OB/GYN clinicians. The information includes a domestic violence screening questionnaire to be used in the physical exam of patients and reference cards with local resources for domestic violence victims.

More than 200 clinicians have been contacted in White, Washington and Benton Counties, along with 50 Harding Physician Assistant Program preceptors throughout Arkansas.

The students are also administering surveys to collect more data on each region’s experience with domestic violence victims to aid health care workers in the future.

“The mere act of asking health care providers about their awareness of this issue brings the problem to the forefront of their minds,”
Pritchett said. “We hope this will increase cognizance of the reality of domestic violence, which, in turn, makes it more likely that providers will be on the lookout for signs of assault in their patients.”