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Monday, 20 October 2008

Spotlight on domestic abuse

We fully support AM Nerys Evans' attempts to get the issue of domestic abuse, still very much a hidden problem, on everyone's radar. Launching a blog for victims to write about their experiences, will hopefully stop it from being so "hidden".

BMA Cymru Wales also backs Nerys' calls for the WAG to fund an awareness-raising campaign, aimed at changing people's attitudes towards violence against women. One way of helping with this would be for all doctors and health professionals to be given training in dealing with domestic abuse, which we've called for in a previous BMA report focusing on the issue.

Key recommendations from this report include:

1. All health professionals should receive training in identifying and helping patients who are victims of domestic abuse – this needs to be implemented on a national scale within emergency medicine.

2. Health professionals should ask patients appropriate questions in a sensitive and non-threatening manner, to encourage disclosure of abusive experiences.

3. Health professionals should recognise that men can also be victims of domestic abuse.

4. The government should promote a ‘zero-tolerance’ attitude to domestic abuse.

5. Refuges should be more accessible to transgender, lesbian, gay, bisexual individuals.

6. Domestic abuse education programmes should be implemented in all primary and secondary schools.

Hopefully, "humanising" domestic abuse in the form of victims blogging about their experiences, will make us all, including politcians, sit up and take notice.

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