A report by Cumberland Lodge Research Associate, Nicola Sharp-Jeffs, on the 'Violence Against Women: A Determinant of Health' conference we held on 6-7 February 2017.

Published Date: 
Wednesday, 14 June 2017
Authorship: 
Nicola Sharp-Jeffs

Back in 1947, when the educational foundation at Cumberland Lodge was established to debate the ‘moral and spiritual issues of the day’, the issue of Violence Against Women was not yet on the public policy agenda. In fact, the first piece of legislation to address ‘violence in marriage’ was only introduced 30 years later.

For Cumberland Lodge to host a two-day conference on Violence Against Women as a determinant of health shows just how far society has come in recognising and seeking to respond to this important issue.

About 60 delegates attended the residential conferenc on 6-7 February 2017, from a wide range of backgrounds. 

Violence Against Women has physical, sexual, reproductive and mental health impacts, but has it been sufficiently addressed by mainstream healthcare provision? How can we improve the healthcare services that seek to address this issue?

We know that women are more likely to speak to health professionals about their experiences than to report violence directly to the police, and this should place public health policy-makers and practitioners at the forefront of an integrated approach to combating Violence Against Women, but what can be done to ensure that this happens in practice?

Delegates welcomed the time and space that the conference provided to reflect on what more the healthcare profession can do to address the scale of the problem.

Report content

This conference report provides an overview of the key themes of the conference, and provides a series of recommendations for the healthcare sector as a whole. 

The report covers:

  • The scale of Violence Against Women - including missed opportunities to intervene
  • How Violence Against Women is addressed by mainstream healthcare provision - including whether knowledge leads to action
  • Improving Violence Against Women healthcare services - including leraning from other stakeholders (the police and voluntary sector organisations), the importance of integrated working, and responding to the needs of victims and survivors
  • Preventing Violence Against Women - including different approaches to prevention
  • Next steps - including outstanding issues that could form the basis for a conference follow-up seminar, later in the year
  • Summary of recommendations from the conference

It is available to download in a compressed pdf format, above.