Management of gender based violence requires change in perspective

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Yağmur Eyüpoğlu, a 21 year old 3rd year medical student at Baskent University and resides in Turkey. She is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

On 31 December 2019, WHO was informed of a novel virus causing a pneumonia like disease which is identified later as SARS-COV2 leading to a massive worldwide pandemic. The gross changes that came along with this pandemic had an impact on every one of us on the aspect of isolation, sanitation, communication and overall well being. The statistics had evolved around the new variants of SARS-COV2 and its effects on the human body from the perspective of multiple fields of medicine.

This over concentrated approach towards a life threatening condition had led us reevaluating the core elements of a pandemic. According to WHO “A pandemic is an epidemic that has spread across a large region.” So there should be a disposition that holds a threat to the general well being of individuals and it should have an impact on a large region like a continent.

If we were to refuse to fit in the well demarcated borders of society, we would see what is really hiding beyond the term “pandemic”, and how it is waiting to be uncovered involving all the crimes committed against the values of human rights. Examples being murder, extermination, enslavement, imprisonment, sexual violence and femicide.

Finding the alternative solutions to gender based violence begins with acknowledging the vital importance of this particular topic by addressing it under the heading of a “pandemic”.
Unless this aggressively invading abnormality is considered as serious as the global pandemic that we are facing today, there will be no adequate action taken against.

The primary role of us, the healthcare workers, in preventing gender based violence is to develop better understanding skills in order to identify an allerting case. Following the right guideline for history taking, always considering a possibility of abuse and violence in the back of our minds, not holding back on asking routine questions regarding these topics after creating a safe environment for the patient are requirements to set to ground for a proper understanding.

Face to face contact with the patient or confirming the existence of violence may not always be valid. In this case, jumping into conclusions could put both the patient and healthcare workers at risk. Therefore, every healthcare facility should build a team working on gender based violence. From mental health consultants to patient follow up, from hospital guidance to investigation assistance, team members should have the competence of conducting the crucial steps in order to handle femicide appropriately.

Managing the wellbeing of the potential survivor requires detailed understanding of their special needs. Some want to ensure their safety whereas some want to be heard. Taking action according to our own needs or trying to put ourselves in the place of the victim is not a proven method to guarantee satisfaction. The only way to achieve this is by acknowledging the different nature of each human being , evaluating the situation behind their perspectives and encouraging the people in charge to take action in order to finally put an end to this pandemic.

About the author

Yağmur Eyüpoğlu is a 21 year old 3rd year medical student at Baskent University and resides in Turkey. She is keen on developing interpersonal communications, getting a better understanding of socially debated topics by reading novels and watching a wide range of movies. She is a driven nature lover, human and animal rights advocate who likes to raise awareness by participating/conducting worldwide voluntary based activities.

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