Care4Trauma urges to incorporate Trauma-Informed Care into policies and support services for survivors of gender-based violence

The Care4Trauma European project has completed the National Report on the legislative and regulatory situation in Spain and the National Data Report on the state of the art in the practical application by professionals.

The first addresses legislation related to gender-based violence in Spain and access to rights for victims of this crime, as well as the analysis of documentation to assess whether the Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) perspective is incorporated in the provision of services. The second explores the perception of professionals from the health, social and judicial systems in relation to the adoption of the trauma-informed approach in the agencies, services and institutions where they work.

National Report

The National Report highlights the presence of a victims’ rights approach, which includes detection, intervention and recovery, and recognizes the importance of identifying the responsible public actors and their connection to the restoration of women’s rights. Another positive element is the presence of a solid theoretical framework in the documents analyzed, which addresses the historical imbalance of power between men and women, as well as the understanding of the effects of gender-based violence on victims and children exposed to it.

On the other hand, it points out the need for improvements in current legislation and policies. The existence of different applications of legislation in each Autonomous Community makes it difficult to implement the TIA approach at the national level and to include the necessary perspectives. In addition, a limited understanding of gender-based violence as a problem limited to the sphere of affective relationships between men and women is detected.

Finally, the report urges the incorporation of Trauma Informed Care principles into legislation and comprehensive practices.

National Data Report

The National Data Report is based on an online survey and responses received from 64 professionals who support and care for women victims of gender-based violence and their children in the health, social and judicial systems, as well as 10 interviews with professionals from centers or services of the anti-violence network and policy makers.

As main findings, the report reveals that the principles of trauma-informed care are not formally present in the policies and procedures of services and organizations that support women survivors of gender-based violence. Although good practices and concerns aligned with these principles exist, systematization is still lacking.

In addition, barriers to access to justice were identified and the need to improve staff training and expand available resources was highlighted.

In general, the professionals express the need to more formally incorporate the principles of trauma-informed care into all stages of care for survivors.

Care4Trauma is a project funded by the Justice Programme of the European Comission, leaded by Associazione MondoDonna Onlus (Italy) with partner organisations: sWelfare and Development Association (ABD) (Spain);  Italian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (Italy); Union of Women Associations of Heraklion Prefecture (Greece); Women’s Support and Information Centre (Estonia); and Autonomous Women’s House Zagreb (Croacia)

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