Some countries and communities experience different types of gender based violence in comparison to others, but the fundamental elements of the problem are global.
Gender based violence assumes many forms, the most common being intimate partner violence, sexual assault and female genital mutilation.
Gender based violence can include issues faced and perpetrated by both males and females. This resource focuses on women and girls because they are the majority of victims and survivors.
Many health and social care professionals are in regular contact with women and girls as part of their clinical role. As health and social care students it is important you understand the extent and nature of the problem.
Gender based violence can be a difficult issue to understand and for health and social care students, it can be a challenge to know what your role is in supporting people. Having worked through this resource, you should be equipped with some important information to help you. You are not expected to be an expert in gender based violence. As a student your role is to have some awareness of the problem, to be able to talk about it, (if it is safe and appropriate to do so) and always report concerns about a person’s safety or wellbeing to a mentor or registered practitioner.
For further reading on types of gender based violence
Bradbury-Jones, C., Clark, M., Paavilainen, E. & Appleton, J. (2017) A Profile of Gender-based Violence Research in Europe: Findings from a Focused Mapping Review and Synthesis. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse. DOI: 10.1177/1524838017719234
Recchia, N. & McGarry, J. (2017) ‘Don’t Judge Me’: Narratives of living with FGM. International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare. 10(1), 4-13.
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) (2013) Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: A statistical overview and exploration of the dynamics of change. Available at: https://www.unicef.org/publications/index_69875.html
World Health Organization (2013) Global and regional estimates of violence against women Prevalence and health effects of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence. Available: https://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/violence/9789241564625/en/
For further reading on recognising gender based violence
Bradbury-Jones, C., Taylor, J., Kroll, T. & Duncan, F. (2014) Domestic Abuse Awareness and Recognition among Primary Healthcare Professionals and Abused Women: a qualitative investigation. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 23, 3057-68.
Hegarty, K.L., O’Doherty, L., Astbury, J. & Gunn, J. (2012) Identifying intimate partner violence when screening for health and lifestyle issues among women attending general practice, Australian Journal of Primary Health, 18(4), 327-331.
Hegarty, K.L., Taft, A. & Feder, G. (2008) Violence between intimate partners: working with the whole family. BMJ, 337. doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a839
For further reading on talking about gender based violence
Bradbury-Jones, C. (2015) Talking about domestic abuse: crucial conversations for health visitors. Community Practitioner, 88(12), 44-47.
Chang, J. C., Decker, M. R., Moracco, K. E., Martin, S. L., Petersen, R. & Frasier, P. Y. (2005) Asking about intimate partner violence: Advice from female survivors to health care providers, Patient Education and Counselling, 59(2), 141-147.
Tan, E., O’Doherty, L. & Hegarty, K. (2012) GPs’ communication skills: A study into women’s comfort to disclose intimate partner violence, Australian Family Physician, 41(7), 513-517.
Usta, J., Antoun, J., Ambuel, B. & Khawaja, M. (2012) Involving the health care system in domestic violence: What women want, Annals of Family Medicine, 10(3), 213-220.
For further reading on responding to gender based violence
Bair-Merritt, M.H., Lewis-O’Connor, A., Goel, S., Amato, P., Ismailji, T., Jelley, M., Lenahan, P & Cronholm, P. (2014) Primary care-based interventions for intimate partner violence: A systematic review, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 46(2), 188-194.
Bradbury-Jones, C., Clark, M.T., Parry, J. & Taylor, J. (2014) Development of a practice framework for improving nurses’ responses to Intimate Partner Violence. Journal of Clinical Nursing. DOI: 10.1111/jocn.13276
Feder, G., Hutson, M., Ramsay, J. & Taket, A. (2006) Women Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence: Expectations and Experiences When They Encounter Health Care Professionals: A Meta-analysis of Qualitative Studies, Archives of Internal Medicine, 166, 22-37.
World Health Organization (2013) Responding to intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women: WHO clinical and policy guidelines. Available: https://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/violence/9789241548595/en/