Information for Professionals

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Best Practice Guidelines

For the Healthcare Community


In New York State, Kathy's Law and the Family Protection and Domestic Violence Intervention Act of 1994 are used by those in the health care field in aiding in the prevention of adult abuse. Kathy's Law applies to nursing homes and home health care agencies, and increases penalties for caregivers guilty of injury to incompetent or physically disabled adults age 60 and older. The Family Protection and Domestic Violence Intervention Act of 1994 requires hospitals and clinics to provide the Victim's Rights Notice to all suspected or confirmed adult domestic violence victims

Helping the Victim

Victims should be made aware of the following:


Healthcare workers must record abuse claims as follows:

  1. Reports by the victim, including their actual words about verbal, physical or sexual assaults, pain from injuries, financial abuse, and any use of weapons
  2. Physical examinations including a rape kit, if warranted
  3. Photographs taken with the victim's consent before wounds are treated, unless this would affect the outcome of client care
  4. Material evidence from the victim's body may be needed in court and should be carefully preserved
  5. Collateral contacts with family members, friends, or social workers familiar with the victim should be documented, with the victim's consent.

For the Financial Community

Suspicious Banking Activities

The following should be watched for as signs of financial exploitation:

Steps To Prevent & Intervene

For the Law Enforcement Community

The law enforcement community must work with social service departments, financial institutions, and health care professionals in the investigation and prevention of adult abuse. The New York State Domestic Violence Consortium has developed an acronym that also applies to the abuse, mistreatment and neglect of impaired and adults