Table 4.

Typical quotes from mothers (n = 40) about general DV questions

How do you and your partner work out arguments?I can be euphemistic and give coded answers.Use disagreement instead of argument, kids might be embarrassed by the answer.
Gives the physician an idea about how problems are solved.
One day it might be terrible and 3 days later it might be fine, but it’s not necessarily abuse.
Seems intrusive … is that any of your business?
In general how do you describe your relationship?No trigger words; opens the door to learning more.Your relationship should not be discussed in front of the kids.
Too general to find out about domestic violence.
There are a lot of euphemisms you can use to describe a relationship that’s not going well.You can’t give one-word answers.
How is your partner treating you and the kids?For domestic violence this would be the true question.What does that mean? Like does he buy me a diamond …
Good way to open up.Like is he a good provider?
We’re a package, if you like me you’ve got to like my kids.Separate the you and kids.
This gets at child abuse.Seems too nosey, too straightforward.
Do you feel safe in your current relationship?It’s all about safety.Safe is a red flag in our house. It’s mommy’s job to keep you safe.
Can just give a one-word answer—yes or no.Kids will understand safe, maybe stable or secure Perhaps stressed instead of safe…
Good question, it is the follow-up that might cause problems.Safety, that’s admitting vulnerability. There may even be some pride involved.
Considering your current partners or friends or any past partners or friends, is there anyone who is making you feel unsafe now?Can admit something wrong without having to say exactly.Too vague
So convoluted, kids won’t understand.Kids understand safe and unsafe.
If you are not in a current relationship you still could have a past person that is causing problems.Instead of partners and friends, say people. You know how kids think … it depends on how a parent introduces their kids to people they date. It might be somebody the kid didn’t like