SIG Family Violence newsletter -December 17

News and items of interest from WONCA's SIG Family Violence

Summary of the Europrev Working Group Mental Health and Family Violence

Brussels, December 2017
On 1st and 2nd of December 2017, approximately 130 representatives from multidisciplinary collaboration projects on domestic violence, sexual violence and child abuse in the network of European Family Justice Centers met with the members of the European GP network on prevention with its Working Group on Mental Health and Family Violence under the guidance of Leo Pas.

Many European countries had delegated colleagues to exchange ideas and to discuss problem areas related to family-oriented care, exchange of information and risk management in family violence. A better collaboration between doctors in the health sector and the judiciary system is needed. At present, so-called Safe Houses are being created in all provinces in Flanders according to the family Justice Model developed originally in San Diego in USA.

To such collaborations care providers can register complex or high risk cases of any type of violence in the family for a chain approach of collaboration between services aimed at a client-system oriented care. In 25% of cases, for example, both victim and perpetrator are both involved in aggression against each other according to European data. Adaptations of legal provisions should allows better sharing of data between the care sector and law enforcement within such framework of multi-sectorial case management for family violence. In fact complementarity between the various tasks of services in the welfare sector, mental health sector and security enforcement can so be optimized. This is in the interest of the victims and their whole family including children observing violence and –when possible- the perpetrator who may also need attention to diminish causes and coping with aggressive behaviors . In current protocols the health sector role still has insufficiently been elaborated; this congress aimed to promote a better mutual understanding and collaboration and should be followed by new dynamics in that direction. The European general practitioner movement plays an important role here. A common display of materials and functioning to support awareness raising and train the trainers is considered for 2018.

**For further information, and upcoming workshops and web developments in 2018, please visit

Mentor Mothers in Family Practice

The Implementation of a low threshold intervention for abused mothers and their children

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is highly prevalent worldwide and has negative consequences for the physical and mental health of women and their children. Along with these negative health sequels, it is widely acknowledged that violence is transmitted to the next generation. Children growing up in violent homes are, one out of three, future victims or perpetrators of IPV. To stop the violence and diminish these harmful consequences, effective IPV interventions need to be developed. Mentor mother support, a low threshold intervention in family practice for mothers who are victims of IPV, proved to be effective in earlier studies. It was developed in Melbourne, Australia, and translated to the Dutch situation in Rotterdam. In 2011 we also implemented mentor mother support in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

In this thesis we aim to find conditions to successfully implement mentor mother support in family practice by studying the facilitators and barriers of successful implementation. In this general introduction we start with defining IPV, followed by a discussion of its prevalence, the consequences it has for abused women and their child(ren), and the problems healthcare providers encounter with the identification of IPV. In line with these discussions, the main objective of the study, implementation of mentor mother support in family practice, and the corresponding research objectives will next be introduced. At the end of this introduction an outline of the thesis will be given which in summary describes objective, design and outcomes of the studies presented in the successive chapters of the thesis.

Author: Maartje Johanna Wilhelmina Loeffen - read more

Of Interest  - WAVE

Women Against Violence Europe

The WAVE Network, established in 1994 as an informal network, is a legal entity since 2014 and a formal network NGO composed of European women's NGOs working in the field of combating violence against women and children.

The WAVE Network aims to promote and strengthen the human rights of women and children in general and to prevent violence against women and children in particular. It aims at establishing gender equality by eliminating all forms of violence against women.

WAVE is the only European network focusing solely on the elimination of violence against women and children.

For more information, visit the WAVE website here

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