Violence Against Women: A Site Dedicated to Providing Information and Resources for Health Care Providers & Survivors of Violence against Women Violence against Women
A site dedicated to providing information and resources for health care providers as well as survivors of violence

Health Care Providers > Addressing Suicide

Suicide Prevention

As a health care providers or social workers in a health setting, you may in course of your work come across women patients who have attempted suicide. Several of these are women who are facing some kind of abuse. For women of 15-29 and 30-44 year, domestic violence or family problems is a precipitating factor driving them to take the extreme step of attempting suicide. With no power to control her life, the woman resorts to suicide as a way of correcting injustice or teaching lesson to the perpetrators of violence. There is very little scope to express her deep despair or rage. An attempt at suicide is the only way she can express her distress against the abuse. Most often these attempts fail and the woman survives only to face the contradictions in life all over again. There are few alternatives for her to free herself from the abusive family.

As Health professionals you can play an important role in providing emotional support to the woman. Public hospitals in particular, offer a unique site for intervention in cases of attempted suicide. As suicide is a criminal offence, most private hospitals refuse admission to such patients and therefore they have to rely on the public hospitals. All hospitals that have a Casualty Department admit cases of attempted suicide. But in public hospitals, such patients are often perceived as a nuisance and a burden, as they have failed in their attempt. They are routinely taken from one stage of treatment to another including the psychiatric reference till they are discharged in a matter of two to four days. Very rarely does the required human healing concern touch the woman. This section is meant to provide information and resources that you can use when you come across such cases in the course of your work.

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