n CME : Your SA Journal of CPD - The health care practitioner's role in the management of violence against women in South Africa : main article

Volume 24, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0256-2170



Domestic or intimate partner violence is an increasingly common reason for a woman to present to her health care practitioner (hcp). <BR>Intimate partner violence has multiple, complex physical and psychological consequences and places an overwhelming health burden on women, their families and on the health care system. <BR>Estimates of domestic violence (DV) in sa suggest that between 1 in 4 and 1 in 6 women suffer some kind of abuse at the hands of an intimate partner. <BR>In terms of the Domestic violence act, DV is described as any abusive behaviour that controls or harms the health, safety or wellbeing of a person or any child cared for by that person. <BR>The proposed sexual offences Bill aims to revise both the substance of the common law on rape, as well as numerous procedural and evidentiary aspects of the trial process to improve justice for sexual assault survivors. <BR>The DVa implies that hcps have a duty to attend to DV cases and the sexual offences Bill may place an actual legal duty on hcps to correctly assess and manage cases of sexual assault. <BR>Health problems arising from DV may be acute or chronic and are not confined to sexual problems or injuries. <BR>Internationally, screening for DV is generally advocated for all female patients (referred to as universal screening). <BR>Detailed medical notes may contribute to positive judicial outcomes for any number of the legal options that the patient may pursue. <BR>The J88 and the gw 7 / 15 are currently the only recognised legal medical forms and, although prosecutors can subpoena medical records, the only medical records that appear initially in a docket are the J88 in a case of assault (physical or sexual) and the gw 7 / 15 in the case of an unnatural death. <BR>The J88 is not just a document that increases the workload of the ordinary hcp; it is the only document that facilitates your patient's access to justice and is used by the prosecutor to decide whether or not to pursue a case. <BR>The examination of survivors of sexual violence is the job of a senior hcp with experience in these types of cases.

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