HCM City seeks ways to enhance support for gender-based violence victims

About 100 doctors, nurses, social workers, and experts from local hospitals, domestic and foreign organizations, have shared their experience and proposed ideas to enhance support for victims of gender-based violence in health facilities, especially in the context of COVID-19, at a forum took place in Ho Chi Minh City on October 8.

At the event. Photo: UN Women Vietnam

A social work forum on supporting survivors of Gender-Based Violence at health clinics and hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic: Insiders’ views, took place with the participation of 100 doctors, nurses, social workers, departments; organizations and experts from Central Hospitals; Hospitals, Medical Facilities in HCMC.

They have shared their experiences and proposed initiatives to enhance support for victims of gender-based violence in health facilities, especially in the context of COVID-19.

The forum is co-chaired by the Municipal Department of Health in collaboration with the Municipal Department of Labor - Invalids and Social Affairs, Vietnam Women's Academy, UN Women and Planète Enfants & Développement Vietnam.

Addressing the forum, Deputy Director of the Health Department Nguyen Huu Hung said HCM City has devised various policies to mitigate gender-based violence, including counselling services and hotlines.

Participants pointed out that in addition to health and economic reasons, the root cause of gender-based violence is gender inequality.

They also put forth ideas to bolster quality of social work in health facilities in order to better meet the needs of patients, especially victims of gender-based violence.

Worldwide, 1 out of every 3 women is a victim of gender-based violence. In Vietnam, 63 percent of women have experienced some forms of violence in their lives. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the proportion of women and children worldwide experiencing violence increased from 30 percent to 300 percent.

The forum is the premise for the review and planning of the pilot proposal of a one-stop service model to support victims of gender-based violence in HCMC.

In recent years, the ‘one stop centre’ (OSC) model for attending to survivors of violence against women and girls has garnered attention in development settings as an exemplary approach to facilitating comprehensive and ethical care for survivors. 

The one Stop Centre is open to public 24 hours and all year round, and provides comprehensive in-house services to women and juvenile survivors of gender-based violence.

Services provided are medical examination, legal consultation, psychosocial support, referral service to long-term shelters, and police protection for at risk women.

Phuong Minh