Press Release

26 June 2013

Asia-Pacific Experts Meet to Strengthen Health Providers’ Response to Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Violence against Women

BANGKOK--Health officials and gender experts from 12 Asian countries are meeting this week to roll out new guidelines meant to help health workers provide better care for women who have suffered from intimate partner or sexual violence.

More than 80 people will take part in a three-day workshop starting today, co-organized by the Asia-Pacific regional office of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and the two Asian regional offices of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Last week WHO released a global report on the prevalence and health effects of violence against women. It found that 30 per cent of women worldwide experience violence at the hands of intimate partners. Physical and mental health impacts include death and injuries, depression, alcohol abuse, sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancy and abortion, and low birth-weight babies.

In many cases, health workers do not have the knowledge and skills to recognize when women are at risk of partner violence or know how to respond. To address this gap, WHO has released clinical and policy guidelines on intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women, that provide comprehensive information for training health providers on the management of women seeking support after violence, and on appropriate health care and support as per international standards including referrals.

The Bangkok workshop is intended to help countries adapt the guidelines to national circumstances and available resources. Participants from ministries of health and gender and partner NGOs involved in delivering services to women affected by violence will share experiences and identify next steps in rolling out the guidelines in their countries, to strengthen the provision of critical services to women survivors of violence.

Participating countries include Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Kiribati, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam.

For more information, contact:

William A. Ryan, ryanw@unfpa.org, mobile +66 89 897 6984.

Anjana Bhushan, bhushana@wpro.who.int, mobile +632 528 8001.

Prakin Suchaxaya, suchaxayap@who.int, mobile +66 87 305 0179