Public Health England (PHE) have launched a toolkit which aims to help GPs support women who experience domestic violence.
The resource is part of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against womenand the ‘16 days of action’ campaign against domestic violence that runs from 25 November to 11 December.
With over 1.2 million women experiencing domestic violence in the UK and Wales last year, the Department of Health (DH), PHE and Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) recognise that GPs are uniquely placed to empower women to seek help.
Dr Maureen Baker, Chair of the RCGP, said: “GPs are at the frontline in recognising and helping those experiencing domestic violence and abuse.
“GPs need to be able to respond appropriately and safely to patients we suspect are in violent relationships but who are worried about speaking out and seeking help.”
GPs also have an essential role to play in the domestic homicide reviews by involving their patients, sharing their understanding, information and learning. This can help improve the response across the health and care system locally, as well as nationally.
Jane Ellison, Minister for Public Health, said: “Any form of violence or abuse – physical, emotional, psychological or sexual – should not be tolerated.
“We know that GPs are uniquely placed and trusted within their communities, and we hope that today’s initiative will help our doctors and nurses and people providing public services to encourage women to come forward and speak out.”
The 16 days of action campaign, which started in 1991 takes place between International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women to Human Rights day and aims to promote women’s rights within local communities across the world.