SIG on Family Violence workshop at 3rd the VdGM Forum

During the third Vasco da Gama Movement (VdGM) Forum, held in Jerusalem between 14 and 16 September 2016, the VdGM Family Violence Group has presented a workshop in collaboration with the WONCA SIG-FV focusing on how cultural diversity can play a role on the disclosure and follow-up of gender violence.

Organizing team (from left to right): Shelly Rothschild; Claire Marie Thomas; Hagit Dascal-Weichhendler; Yael Livni-Gillerma; Nina Monteiro; Elena Klusova

As one recognizes that gender based violence occurs in any given culture, we also are aware that different beliefs and cultural norms may affect its presentations, disclosure, outcome and treatment. The main purpose of the workshop was to explore how cultural diversity, in the context of gender based violence, relates with the patient, the clinician and the health care setting.

The workshop started with an introduction to gender based violence theory including health, social and economic consequences. Then the theme of cultural competence was introduced but not fully explored before the small group discussion we had.

During the small group discussion it was very interesting to realize the enthusiasm of the participants. In all the four groups there were examples of colleagues that have already been challenged by the complexity of cultural diversity when dealing with victims of gender based violence.

The workshop followed with a more deep explanation of cultural competency and we presented some strategies to guide each one's development of cultural competency.
Also during the workshop Claire Marie Thomas summarized her fantastic work at Bwindi Community Hospital and Ugandan Nursing School Bwindi in assessing staff and student attitudes to gender based violence and designing a sensitisation campaign. Claire shared a touching case description embodying how cultural differences can influence the perception of gender based violence.

No doubt health care professionals face significant cultural challenges in addressing gender based violence victims. The discussion on dealing with cultural diversity is definitely not over, and it should be further addressed in upcoming events.

It is important to note that the subject of family violence was addressed also in another workshop presented by a different group in the forum, and also was mentioned in a workshop on migrants/refugees.

Author: Nina Monteiro

SIG Family Violence October 23 newsletter