martes, 11 de noviembre de 2008

Physical violence against intimate partners and related exposures to violence among South African men - Patient information

This article about a study in South Africa on the prevalence of physical violence to men’s female partners raises a couple of issues. Firstly, it is probably happening more often than you imagine, since the study found out that roughly 1 in 3 men inflicts violence to the female partner. Even though it is doubtful to extrapolate these figures to Southern Europe, it is possible that they may also be high due to considerable number of African migrants based in Spain and Portugal.

The authors of this study have pointed out that sexual violence against intimate partners is contributing towards the spread of the HIV epidemic. This is relevant, as there are studies showing that men who engage in violent behaviour against their intimate partners are more likely to develop sexual behaviours of risk, like promiscuity, resorting to prostitution, and not using contraception). It is thus important that family doctors are prepared to identify early potential or actual cases of sexual violence in married or cohabiting couples. For that, doctors may have to make certain unconfortable questions to men in stable relationships and/or their female partners. As such, you may be subject to questions such as your experience of physical abuse during childhood, if you witnessed parental violence or not, or if you have been exposed to violence in your community.

Detecting and approaching intimate partner violence is a difficult task for doctors, as it is a sensitive issue, and one which transcends the borders of a mere biological problem. It is also a social problem and an important public health matter which requires the collaboration of many health care professionals apart from your family doctor.

No hay comentarios: