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

A resource package

6. Medicale examination and care

6.1 Outline of the module

Duration of the module

1,5 hours

Aim of the module

To provide participants with an overview of the different steps involved in

  • providing first-line support to patients disclosing GBV,
  • taking a medical history and undertake a physical examination,
  • providing treatment and follow-up care, with a focus on patients who experienced sexual violence and/or suffer from pre-existing and GBV-related mental disorders

Key learning messages

Following disclosure of GBV by a patient, health care providers should

  • provide first-line support,
  • obtain informed consent from the patient on all aspects of the consultation,
  • take a complete medical history,
  • undertake a complete physical examination,
  • treat injuries,
  • for survivors of sexual violence: offer emergency contraception and post exposure prophylaxis for HIV and STI,
  • for survivors with pre-existing diagnosed or GBV-related mental disorders: provide mental health care in line with WHO mhGAP guidelines or refer survivors to specialist mental health care providers.

Background readings for trainer

UNFPA-WAVE Resource Package, Part I, chapter 3.2

Further reading:

WHO 2003, WHO 2010a, WHO 2013


  • Presentation by trainer (PPT slides 1-10, distribution of handout 24)
  • Presentation by trainer (PPT slides 11-13, distribution of handout 25)
  • Presentation by trainer (PPT slides 14-17)

Notes for trainers

When distributing the checklist for the examination on handout 24, you may want to facilitate an exchange in the group to discuss participants’ work practice. Possible questions for discussions include: Do you find this checklist useful for your work? Are there any challenges in the examination of survivors of GBV that you have experienced? How could they be overcome?

Materials for training session

Presentation: PowerPointpresentation Module 6 (download it at the bootom of the page)


Handout 24: Checklist for physical examination of survivors of gender-based violence

Handout 25: WHO guidelines for prevention of unwanted pregnancies, HIV and STIs