Health care for women subjected to intimate partner violence or sexual violence

A clinical handbook - Field testing version

No. of pages: 100

Publication date: 2015

Author: WHO, UNWOMEN, UNFPA

When providing first-line support to a woman who has been subjected to violence, 4 kinds of needs deserve attention:

  • Immediate emotional/psychological health needs
  • Immediate physical health needs
  • Ongoing safety needs
  • Ongoing support and mental health needs.

There are simple ways that every health-care provider – including those who are not specialists – can assist a woman subjected to violence. This can be very important to her health. This handbook offers easy steps and suggestions to help you provide that care. This handbook has 4 parts:

  1. Awareness about violence against women
  2. First-line support for intimate partner violence and sexual assault
  3. Additional clinical care after sexual assault
  4. Additional support for mental health.

There are job aids throughout this handbook to help you while caring for and supporting a woman who has experienced or is experiencing violence. The guidelines on which this handbook is based do not directly address young women (under age 18) or men. Nonetheless, many of the suggestions for care may be applicable to young women or to men.