The University of North Carolina (UNC) Hospitals Beacon Program provides comprehensive, coordinated care to UNC Health Care System’s patients, families, and employees experiencing a variety of interpersonal abuse. It includes services for children, victims of domestic abuse, or intimate partner violence (IPV), human trafficking, sexual assault, and the elderly and vulnerable populations. The program provides medical and psychological assessments, brief supportive counseling, and education for patients, employees and staff. Any patient who has experienced physical abuse, threats, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, or other violence is eligible.

Services can be provided at all UNC Hospitals and clinics in person or by phone.

Our Goal: To provide services that help break the generational cycle of family violence, to promote continued education for staff and provide trauma-informed patient care.

Helping Our #MeToo Patients

In the past few months, almost five million people from all walks of life have opened up on Twitter, using the hashtag #MeToo about past experiences of sexual harassment, assault, domestic violence, and childhood abuse. Others have shared their experiences through other forms of social media or had conversations with family, friends, and co-workers.

Many of our patients have or could say “Me too” when asked about past or current abuse and violence in their lives. As a part of our commitment to caring, UNC Health Care should always be a safe place for any patient to disclose any trauma that they have experienced, particularly those that may interfere with their health goals. The Beacon Program is available to help any patients, family members of patients, and employees who have been impacted by intimate partner and family violence. We can always be reached at 984-974-0470.

Beacon Program Services

  • Evaluation
  • Brief counseling
  • Support
  • Consultations
  • Medical evaluations (child abuse)
  • Information and resources about intimate partner and family violence
  • Referrals

Location

  • Beacon program staff are located at the UNC Medical Center but can provide most of our services to any UNC Healthcare site.

History of the Beacon Program

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.

Thinking of Developing and Implementing Response Programs in Your Healthcare Setting?