Daphne Toolkit

Violence Intervention in Specialist Healthcare (VISH)

Project Reference Number: 

Violence Intervention in Specialist Healthcare (VISH)

The main objective of the project was to increase the skills of hospital staff and to create a research-based model for intervention so that people living with violence in close family relations (VCR) or under the threat of it will feel comfortable and safe to tell about their situation and that the specialist health care providers will have channels to offer help to those in need of it. The overall objective of the project was to decrease the psychological and physical illness caused by VCR. One of the targets of the research in this project was to provide new information on VCR in health care settings. Its objective was to give information on the overall prevalence of VCR, the scale and frequency of violence on an individual level, its impact on the individual and families as well as the society at large. The research was expected to provide information on the attitudes, problems and development needs of those that face VCR in their work.


The project implemented two surveys, one for staff members and one for patients. The results of these surveys were used to tailor existing training materials and packages developed by previous Daphne-projects. The initial surveys were followed up with thematic research interviews to give a deeper understanding of the scope of violence in the region. Working meetings during the project with local NGOs, yielded tools for VCR intervention in health care, established workable practice for intervening violence in specialised health care settings and created a treatment model which is a specialised health care service for filtered patients with severe VCR experiences and in need of special help.


Based on the results, a systematic intervention model for VCR - called VISH-team - was created and brought into practice in a specialised health care setting (e.g. through training days for nursing staff, doctors and social workers). The model consists of specific tools created for a health care setting, and a specific treatment service created for those in need of help and support within specialist health care. Questions for screening violence in close relationships were added to all patient forms and questionnaires. Testing of the model proved in practice that systematic and direct questioning about VCR as a part of accurate anamnesis is necessary at least in health units treating patients of risk groups. During the project research about patients’ VCR experiences was charted, and the results are plausible: Over 30 % of maternity and obstetric clinic patients, over 50 % of psychiatric reception unit patients and app. 20 % of emergency unit patients report about VCR experiences that are acute or previous but still affecting patient’s well-being and life control. Routine filtering cannot be done without creating a line of help and support for the victims. Therefore routine questioning must also include more careful charting, in other words evaluation of health impacts as well as health risks and impacts.


Summing up, the project produced terms of reference, tool forms, a patient leaflet, a poster, a contact information card, and an electronic map of municipal services in every town belonging to CFHCD; the map also includes links to regional and national services. The project also worked towards strengthening the already existing local networks for working with perpetrators, victims and family members in abusive relationships.