Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence

Domestic, sexual and gender-based violence are crimes that occur in all social classes.

The HSE Policy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence (2010) aims to put in place an integrated and coordinated health sector response to domestic violence and sexual violence. Following on from this the National Social Inclusion office has developed the HSE National Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Training Resource- recognising and responding to victims of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence (DSGBV) in vulnerable or at-risk communities manual (2019).

Prevention

This response will aim to prevent domestic violence and sexual violence.

Support

This response will also aim to make sure that all families experiencing, or at risk of experiencing domestic violence, sexual violence, or both, will receive supports from health and community service providers. These providers will understand the issue and will recognise and respond to the impact that this type of violence has on health.

Monitoring Committee

We represent the HSE on the Monitoring Committee of the Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence 2016-2021 and are responsible for driving health-related actions contained in this strategy.

Relevant Documents

HSE National Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Training Resource- recognising and responding to victims of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence (DSGBV) in vulnerable or at-risk communities manual.  (2019)

HSE National Intercultural Health Strategy 2007-2012

Female genital mutilation: Information for health-care professionals working in Ireland 2nd edition

Translating Pain Into Action: A Study of Gender-based Violence and Minority Ethnic Women in Ireland

The Women's Health Council (2009)

Ireland's Second National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (2015-2018)

National Strategy for Women and Girls 2017-2020: creating a better society for all

2010 HSE Policy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence Identified the Importance of Skills and Awareness

The HSE Policy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence (2010) identified having a skills base and awareness as two of the main principles of good practice. These are central to strategic planning and providing prevention and intervention initiatives around domestic violence and sexual violence.

Women experiencing domestic or sexual violence access services through many health-care routes, for example through:

  • the family doctor;
  • the accident and emergency department in a hospital;
  • health care in relation to reproduction;
  • mental health care;
  • family planning;
  • sexual health care;
  • addiction services; and
  • paediatric services.

This means we need a comprehensive and appropriate health sector response at all points of entry. We need to make sure victims are kept safe so staff need to know the signs, indications and consequences of abuse. They need to know how to respond in an appropriate way and be able to make referrals, as appropriate, to a specialist service, where women will be supported to make changes in their lives.

We have prioritised the delivery of a national training programme to support frontline HSE staff to develop skills to recognise and respond to victims of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence (DSGBV) in vulnerable or at risk communities.

This is in line with a number of HSE obligations under the cross-Government Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence 2016-2021 and the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (2015-2018).