To the Health Worker 325
Health workers can take a more active role in stopping violence
against women. It is not enough just to take care of a woman’s
When you examine a woman, look for signs of abuse.
Men often beat their wives where the marks will not show.
Women who have been beaten may wear clothing to hide
it. As a health worker, you are one of the few people who
sees the private parts of her body.
If you see an unusual mark, bruise, or scar, ask her
how it happened. Or if a woman comes to you in pain,
bleeding, or with broken bones or other injuries, ask her if
she has been beaten. Remember that many beaten women
will say they got injured by accident. Assure her that you
will not do anything she does not want you to do.
Write everything down. When you see a woman who has been
abused, draw a picture of the front and back of her body and mark
the places where she has been injured.
Write down the name of the
person who abused her. Try to
find out how many times this
has happened before. Ask if
other family members, such
as her sisters or her children,
have also been abused. If she
is in danger, help her decide
what she wants to do. Whether
or not she wants to leave, you can
help her make a safety plan. If she
wants to go to the police, go with her. You can help make sure
they take her claim seriously (and do not abuse her themselves).
Help her make contact with other women who have been abused.
Together they may be able to find solutions.
➤ For information
about how to treat
a woman’s injuries,
see Where There Is
No Doctor or another
general medical book.
What resources are available for abused women? Look for:
• legal help.
• money-earning projects • programs that teach adults
• safe houses.
• mental health services.
to read and write, or other
Help the man. In some communities, men have formed groups
to help other men stop using violence. Through discussions
and role plays, these groups help men learn new ways to
express their feelings and to control their behavior. Ask religious
and community leaders to help start a group like this and to
convince all men that they are responsible for ending violence
➤ Help your
community to see
the harmful effects of
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012