Strengthening Health System Responses to Gender-based Violence in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

A resource package

Part I: Guidance for health care professionals in strengthening health system responses to gender-based violence

A woman´s visit to a health service provider might be her only chance to receive support and care and escape a situation of abuse. Most women, even in marginalized and remote areas, are likely to seek family planning or  prenatal care services at least once in their lifetime, making health services, and particularly reproductive health services a critical entry point for violence-related information and services, providing an opportunity that is too costly to lose for the millions of women and adolescent girls who could benefit. 

Therefore, gender-based violence (GBV) should be systematically integrated into health care. The Part I(Guidance for health facilities and health care professionals in strengthening health sector responses to gender-based violence) provides background information and practical guidelines to support policies and programmes in strengthening health system responses to GBV.

  • It provides an overview of the causes, dynamics and consequences of GBV (chapter 1)
  • It addresses the role of health care professionals in the response to GBV, with a focus on international human rights standards and key principles for service provision (chapter 2).
  • Chapter 3 leads through the different steps of a health care provider’s intervention in a presumed case of GBV, starting from identification to the medical examination and provision of care, the documentation of GBV, risk assessment and safety planning up to referrals to other service providers.
  • Chapter 4 addresses referral pathways for survivors of GBV, addressing issues such as the actors involved as well as necessary steps in setting up and implementing referral mechanisms.
  • Part I concludes with an introduction to monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of health sector interventions to GBV, explaining key concepts and principles of M&E and proposing specific steps in setting up and implementing evaluations (chapter 5).