In 2014, a Health Care Sector Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Gender Based Violence was developed, distributed and implemented in the health care system with the aim of providing guidelines to Health Care Professionals to improve the quality and consistency of services to victims of Gender Based Violence. It also includes guidelines on the collection and handling of medico-legal evidence. The SOP was approved by the Cabinet of Grenada to improve the quality and consistency of services to victims of intimate partner violence and sexual abuse. It provides clear guidelines for five main steps in the examination process:
Step 1: Includes preparing the patient for the examination, including guidelines on informed consent and confidentiality
Step 2: Involves taking the victim’s history
Step 3: Describes performing the actual examination, and includes obtaining laboratory tests at different stages: prior to the examination; physical examination, and ano-genital examination. It identifies special considerations that must be given to elderly women, children, men, and patients with disabilities.
Step 4: Gives directions for prescribing treatment for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse, with details on general treatment, wound care, preventing tetanus, providing psychological counselling and treatment, as well as preventing pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, HIV transmission, HTLV-I, and Hepatitis B.
Step 5: Proposes follow-up care for adult and child victims, with special notes relating to victims of sexual abuse.
In addition to this, the SOP also recoognises the importance of self-care for the Health Care Provider and gives guidance on personal safety and self-care.
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