Health care systems in Europe remain a key but underutilized entry point through which victims of gender-based violence (GBV) can be identified and supported. Health care professionals are in a position to break the silence and offer critical care to women and children who are victims of violence and suffer its health consequences for many years. Furthermore, they are often the ones who have the most contact with survivors. Yet health professionals often fail to identify patients experiencing abuse, and thus only treat the presenting complaints and miss an opportunity to provide the link to specialised gBV services.
Other health professionals do not have the infrastructure or legal support to provide the necessary care. it is critical that health professionals play a key role in ensuring that the health care system responds to gBV and protects women’s health and rights, and this can only be done by directly connecting the health care system to the specialized support services. IMPLEMENT, a European Commission (EC) co-funded project to establish capacity building within the health settings of six European countries (austria, Bulgaria, germany, France, italy, romania) aims to strengthen the specialised support for victims of gender-based violence in health settings. the project aims to better meet the needs of survivors of gBV by securing a strong connection between the health system and women’s specialized services.