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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123


KISS, Lígia Bittencourt  and  SCHRAIBER, Lilia Blima. Social medical themes and the health intervention: violence against women in the professional's discourse. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2011, vol.16, n.3, pp.1943-1952. ISSN 1678-4561.

This study deals with violence against women as a health care matter. It was part of a research in public services of São Paulo (Brazil), including the prevalence of violence among users from 15 to 49 years old; the study of their medical records; the description of the services; and interview with 50 professionals, focusing the routine and the ideals of health work, the perception on the existence of violence cases, the offer of assistance or its obstacles and the representations on violence. This article analyses the content of the professional narratives and uses the other data to characterise the assistance context. Confirming the literature, violence was almost always regarded as a relevant problem but outside the professional's intervention boundaries. Isolated actions and in a personal basis were reported. Fear and professional impotence were mentioned, but none positive aspect for potential interventions. The professionals showed lack of knowledge of specialized reference services. In conclusion, the difficulties in the acceptance of violence cases should be worked in three dimensions: the narrow definition of professionals' competence that excludes violence as an object; the absence of technological definitions for professional actions; and effective support in their services.

Keywords : Violence against women; Health work; Gender and health; Violence and health.

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