Combatting Intimate Partner Violence: Representations of Social and Healthcare Personnel Working with Gender-Based Violence Interventions

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Jul 31;17(15):5543. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17155543.


Intimate partner violence (IPV) has been declared a global epidemic by the World Health Organization. Although the attention paid to both the perpetrators and victims of gender-based violence has increased, scientific research is still lacking in regard to the representations of operators involved in interventions and management. Therefore, the following study explores how the representations of operators affect how gender violence can be managed and combatted through an ecological approach to this phenomenon, in addition to highlighting the roles of organizational-level services and their cultural and symbolic substrates. In total, 35 health and social professionals were interviewed and textual materials were analyzed by thematic analysis. The evidence suggests that services contrasting gender-based violence utilize different representations and management approaches. The authors hope that these differences can become a resource, rather than a limitation, when combatting gender-based violence through the construction of more integrated networks and a greater dialogue among different services, in order to make interventions designed to combat gender-based violence more effective.

Keywords: ecological approach; gender violence; professional representations; services contrasting gender-based violence; violence management.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Female
  • Gender-Based Violence* / prevention & control
  • Health Personnel*
  • Humans
  • Intimate Partner Violence* / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Research Design
  • Social Work*
  • Violence