|IRISi are thrilled to announce the launch of ‘Look Beyond’ – our new annual campaign focusing around the role that healthcare professionals play in the identification and referral of victims of DVA. |
‘Look Beyond’ is part of the 16-day call for action following the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and is organised and led by IRISi as part of the Pathfinder project. The Pathfinder consortium consists of five specialist Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) organisations, IRISi, AVA, Imkaan, SafeLives and Standing Together. Pathfinder is working to demonstrate what the best practice response is to patients affected by Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA) in general practice, mental health services and the acute health care sector.
‘Look Beyond’ is a campaign asking healthcare professionals to look beyond common symptoms and diagnosis in order to identify and refer victims of DVA. Over the course of the 16 days of action, we will encourage DVA organisations, charities and healthcare professionals to share their stories and experience of identification and referral using the hashtag #lookbeyond.
As part of the campaign, we will be publishing 16 blogs for 16 days, taking in the problem, the scale, the reality and the possible solutions around the topic of DVA in a healthcare setting . These will be written by strategy leaders, survivors and DA professionals including Nicole Jacobs (DVA Commissioner for England and Wales), Medina Johnson (CEO, IRISi) and Donna Covey (CEO at AVA).
IRISi and Pathfinder will also be hosting an event for healthcare professionals on the 3rd of December at The Station in Bristol. The networking event will include talks from healthcare professionals and experts, members of the IRIS teams and DVA survivors, all of whom have had first hand experience of DVA within healthcare settings.
“Domestic violence and abuse has a devastating impact on emotional and physical health.” says Medina Johnson, Chief Executive of IRISi. “We know that women affected by domestic violence and abuse want and expect a helpful response from the professionals they see in the health service. They want their doctor or nurse to notice that something isn’t OK and to ask them about this. Women need these professionals to know what to do next and how to help them to access support. Look Beyond is a fantastic opportunity to encourage all health care professionals to look beyond what they see and hear when they are sitting with a patient. We want them to look beyond the presenting symptoms and explanations and consider, is my patient frightened of anyone? Is anyone hurting them? Is this having an impact on their health? How can I help them get the support that is available to them?”
Medina continues, “It is essential that health care services, providers and professionals understand how DVA affects the patients they care for and to know how they can support these patients to access information and support. We know that a simple enquiry from a doctor or nurse, followed by an understanding response and offer of access to support is priceless for women affected by DVA.”
For more information on the campaign, or our event in December, email firstname.lastname@example.org.