Whilst the group acknowledges that violence is unfortunately a universally encountered problem for all people, gender-based violence, and specifically violence against women is now recognized as a global human rights crisis; with significantly more sexual, physical, and emotional violence being perpetrated by men against women, non-binary, and trans people.
Importantly this group takes a medical stance on the matter, and wants to reiterate how important the medical team is in providing substantial care and support to survivors. As medical professionals, we play an important role in having close relationships with survivors of abuse and sexual assault, often being the first point of contact or interference between a victim and an abuser. It is therefore vital that we have the tools to allow us to recognise such abuse, provide emotional and physical support, and importantly, allow patients to know what we can do to help. Hospitals, GP practices, and the staff working within them should be considered a safe place. It is ultimately important for people to know that if they feel like the police and legal system cannot help them, we can.
The group is therefore aimed at providing a united front for all women and female-identifying persons, but anyone and everyone is welcome to join. It goes without saying that help is available for everyone.
The aims of the group are to:
• Provide support to medical students who have experienced sexual harassment within the medical school environment
• Ensure that appropriate reporting measures are in place
• Ensure that the medical school’s policy on sexual violence is visible
• Provide educational resources on ending gender-based violence, active bystander training, and resources for medical professionals on recognising/supporting patients who are experiencing violence
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