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Women's Health and Education Center (WHEC)

Violence Against Women

List of Articles

  • Human Trafficking and Exploitation
    Today, some label human trafficking as a form of "modern day slavery," and frequently, human trafficking has been linked to sex work and prostitution, although there are other forms of trafficking, such as forced labor and domestic work. Human trafficking can involve women, men, and children. Human trafficking is one of the worst abuses of human rights. Because the roots of human trafficking are multifaceted, no one solution exists to eliminate this problem. Unfortunately, as the problem grows, healthcare practitioners will be confronted with the issue in their patient populations. Practitioners should be committed to the collaboration amongst disciplines to address poverty, racism, discrimination, and oppression in order to reduce the vulnerable positions of human trafficking victims and their families. Because of the social justice component in the codes of ethics of professionals such as physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, and counselors, all practitioners can play a key role in the individual, community, and systemic levels to help address this gross abuse of power. One way to begin is to educate oneself and one's respective disciplines about the global nature of human trafficking and the complex dynamics of the problem. This information is presented with the intention of educating health care providers on the long-term medical needs of survivors and on how they can establish a healthcare clinic in their communities. We encourage healthcare providers across the globe to evaluate local trafficking populations care needs and attempt to provide trauma-informed care to these patients. For individuals who are interested in creating such services in their community, a list of steps to guide this process are provided.

  • Sexual Violence
    Physicians who make screening for a history of sexual assault a routine part of clinical practice provide tertiary prevention of long-term and persistent physical and mental consequences of sexual assault. Healthcare providers should be aware of the existence of local protocols, including the use of specially trained sexual assault examiners or sexual assault forensic examiners. Long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse are varied, complex, and often devastating. Survivors come from all cultural, racial, and economic groups. Traumatized patients generally benefit from mental health care. The healthcare provider can be a powerful ally in the patientís healing by offering support and referral. Efforts should be made to refer survivors to professionals with significant experience in abuse-related issues.

  • Domestic Violence: Screening And Intervention
    Domestic violence continues to be a prevalent problem in the United States. In order to prevent domestic violence and promote the well-being of their patients, healthcare professionals in all settings must take the initiative to properly assess all women for abuse during each visit and, for those women who are or may be victims, to offer education, counseling, and referral information. A tremendous barrier to diagnosing and treating domestic violence is a lack of knowledge and training. It is imperative that healthcare professionals work together to establish specific guidelines that will facilitate identification of batterers and their victims. During the assessment process, a practitioner must be open and sensitive to the client's/patient's worldview, cultural belief systems. The long-term focus on domestic violence is responsible for major reforms on multiple levels within various systemic functions related to criminal prosecution, legislative views and actions, and healthcare protocols. Encouraging health care providers to address overall preventive health care may also improve screening for this important public health issue.

  • Domestic Violence During Pregnancy
    Intimate partner violence affects 1 out of 4 women in the US and has a tremendous effect on the health and well-being of female patients. The medical community is uniquely positioned to lessen this impact, at the very least by alleviating the isolation that is often integral to victimization. In accordance with expert guidelines, clinicians should screen all women for partner abuse and provide support and information about available resources for patient identified as victims of violence. Domestic violence is a multifaceted problem with high prevalence and substantial costs to society. Using these time-saving screening tools can facilitate discussion of abuse. However, it is important to note that a positive screen with any of the tools demands further evaluation. The military environment possesses a unique set of circumstances and stressors that may directly affect family violence. These include periods of family separation, tensions between the demands of duty and the demands of family life, stress related to the military mission, frequent relocation, perceived dangers associated with military training and combat, as well as financial stressors. Screening for a controlling or threatening partner among women with even mild postpartum depression may identify those who are at higher risk for long-term depression.

  • Childhood Injuries and Violence: Improving Care and Global Efforts
    Injuries and violence are a significant cause of child death, physical and psychological disability. Increase attention to the field of injury control, the violence prevention and to stimulate research on what works to prevent and treat injuries, especially in low- and middle-income countries, as well as increased advocacy / partnership to confront child injury are of urgent need. Women's Health and Education Center (WHEC) hopes our efforts encourage countries and governments to implement injury control policies and programs that will actually lower the currently unacceptable toll of child injury. While much remains to be learned about the effectiveness of rehabilitation approaches, they signal the potential to actualize the full and meaningful participation of young people who experience disability following an injury. Progress in child and adolescent health will be limited if child injuries are not addressed systematically.

  • Child Abuse - A Universal Challenge
    Child abuse is a serious global health problem. Most prevention efforts for child maltreatment focus on victims and perpetrators without necessarily addressing the root causes of the problem. The Convention on Rights of Child is one the most widely ratified of all the international treaties and conventions. A stronger commitment to increase global violence prevention efforts is desperately needed.

  • Walk In Her Shoes
    gives an overview of dynamics and magnitude of Domestic Violence.

  • Pathways To Change
    Refraining and Responding to Violence Against Women

  • United Nations: Commission on the Status of Women

  • Domestic Violence Programs: Understanding the Restraining Order Process
    Domestic violence is one of the most serious public health problems in the United States (U.S.). More than 27.3% of women and 11.5% of men 18 years of age and older have a lifetime history of spousal abuse, battering, or intimate partner violence. In many states in the U.S., the weighted lifetime prevalence of domestic violence (including rape, physical violence, and/or stalking) is 34.2% among women and 24% among men. Although many of these incidents are relatively minor and consist of pushing, grabbing, and hitting, domestic violence resulted approximately 1,200 deaths in the United States in 2014. One of the difficulties in addressing the problem is that abuse is prevalent in all demographics, regardless of age, ethnicity, race, religious denomination, education, or socioeconomic status and most of the time either unreported or under-reported. This document provides helpful information illustrating the steps necessary to obtain a restraining order, improve your safety, abused person's rights and domestic violence law enforcement guidelines 2017. High-risk teams build upon the work of risk assessment by providing systematic responses to monitor offenders and enhance safety for victims. Violence can be prevented and should be prevented. Governments, communities and individuals can make a difference. Laws against violence send a clear message to society about unacceptable behavior and legitimize the actions needed to ensure people's safety at all times. The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%. The Women's Health and Education Center (WHEC) works with its partners to better understand the problem of violence and to prevent it before it begins.

  • Massachusetts Resources: Domestic Violence

  • Legal Primer On Massachusetts Family Violence Law
    A summary of Massachusetts Abuse Prevention Law and how it works.

  • Profiling Domestic Violence
    Scientific investigation of the problem of domestic violence is a relatively recent endeavor. It is only within the past 30 years that violence against women has been acknowledged nationally and internationally as a threat to the health and rights of women as well as to national development. This chapter illuminates the different faces of violence, from the "invisible" suffering of society's most vulnerable individuals to the all-too-visible tragedy of societies.

  • Elder Abuse
    Incorporating screening related to elder abuse and neglect into these encounters will increase identification of abuse. Health care providers should assess patients for elder abuse and respond to patients who are victims of elder abuse as they would to domestic violence in general.

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