1 in 5 women make their first disclosure of violence in an intimate relationship to their general practitioner.
In B.C., an average of 232 women per year are admitted to a B.C. hospital for severe injuries from intimate partner violence.
BWSS initiative #SomeMenBreakMoreThanHearts is designed to raise awareness of violence against women in intimate relationships, and provide resource kit to family physicians throughout B.C. to help doctors better identify and respond to women who may be experiencing violence in her intimate relationship. Because violence against women is a health issue.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 5, 2018
Launching World Health Day April 7, British Columbia’s family physicians join the fight against intimate partner violence
The #SomeMenBreakMoreThanHearts initiative provides family physicians with training and resources when women present with injuries and may be victims of violence
Vancouver, BC, April 5, 2018 – How do you ask your patient if she is experiencing violence from a partner or family member? If you’re a general practitioner in B.C., this is a tough question to ask, especially if you aren’t sure where you can direct your patient to go for help and support. On World Health Day, April 7, 2018, Battered Women’s Support Services is launching the #SomeMenBreakMoreThanHearts initiative, designed to raise awareness of violence against women in intimate relationships, and provide resources to family physicians throughout B.C.
The campaign includes an information and resource kit for general practitioners throughout B.C.. It’s designed to help practitioners better identify and respond to women who may be experiencing violence in her intimate relationship; and offer resources that are available to support women, including immediate safe places to go, crisis support, and ongoing counselling.
“Violence against girls and women is often not included in discussions of women’s health; it is considered a social issue, not a medical issue,” says Angela Marie MacDougall, Executive Director of Battered Women’s Support Services.
“#SomeMenBreakMoreThanHearts is designed to bridge this gap and give general practitioners more resources in understanding the dynamics of power and control in violence, assessing risks, safety planning and alleviating women’s isolation by connecting them to support. Because the data shows that when women are connected to support organizations, they and their children are safer,” states MacDougall.
The statistics about violence against women in intimate relationships in Canada and B.C. are staggering—and general practitioners are often the first person women disclose the violence to.
– Over 50% of all women in Canada have experienced physical or sexual violence.
– 40% of the women who have experienced intimate partner violence reported physical injuries, including bone fractures and internal injuries.
– In BC, an average of 232 women per year are admitted to a B.C. hospital for severe injuries from intimate partner violence.
– 1 in 5 women make their first disclosure of violence in an intimate relationship to their general practitioner
– But many women are afraid to tell anyone: only 21% of women reported intimate partner violence to a nurse or a doctor during their lifetime.
“Family physicians are often the trusted, first-line responders for women presenting with injuries. Knowing how to identify when someone is experiencing intimate partner violence can save lives,” says Vancouver family physician Dr. Janet Ip. “Having a plan in place to ask the right questions, and the ability to connect women to real help and support can and should be a priority in everyone’s family practice.”
If you are seeking more information, are experiencing violence in an intimate relationship, or know someone who is, please contact:
Battered Women’s Support Services Crisis and Intake Line: 604 687 1867
Toll Free: 1 855 687 1867
About Battered Women’s Support Services
Founded in 1979, Battered Women’s Support Services provides education, advocacy, support services to assist all women in its aim to work towards the elimination of violence, and to work from a feminist perspective that promotes equality for all women. BWSS responded to over 11,000 requests for services in 2016. BWSS’ services include a Crisis Line; Counselling; support groups; victim services; an Indigenous Women’s Program; a Black Women’s Program; a Latin American Women’s Program; legal advocacy and law reform; strategic interventions training; social enterprise, My Sister’s Closet eco-thrift Boutique; violence prevention and intervention volunteer training; and Advancing Women’s Awareness Regarding Employment program (AWARE).
Angela Marie MacDougall