The Beacon Program at the University of North Carolina Hospitals was established in 1996 as a domestic violence intervention program for patients seen in the inpatient and outpatient clinics of University of North Carolina Hospitals.
In 1998, the Beacon Program was funded by the North Carolina Governor’s Crime Commission to develop the Effective Practices for Healthcare Response to Domestic Violence project (EPHRDV). The goal of the project was to provide technical assistance to five healthcare organizations throughout North Carolina in the planning and development of each site’s own domestic violence response program. The organizations in North Carolina that agreed to participate in EPHRDV include: Lenoir Memorial Hospital, Lenoir County; Cleveland Regional Medical Center, Cleveland County; New Hanover Regional Medical Center, New Hanover County; Rural Health Group, Northampton County; and Robeson Healthcare, Robeson County. Technical assistance was provided to each site on forming a multidisciplinary planning team, conducting a needs assessment, holding a planning workshop for site administrators, clinicians and local community agencies, implementation of program components, and evaluation of the program after one year. For a more detailed description of the technical assistance provided to each site, refer to Appendix A.
In 2001, the UNC Hospitals Beacon Program became a family violence program, also addressing violence against children and the elderly. We have since added sections on Child Abuse, Child Exposure to Domestic Violence, and Elder Abuse to the manual. This manual and its addenda are intended as a resource for healthcare organizations and community agencies interested in developing a comprehensive response to family violence in a healthcare setting. Whether the organization is a large hospital, regional medical center, or a rural community health center, this manual provides information pertinent to the planning, development and evaluation of programs focusing on family violence.