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'The public health turn on violence against women': Analysing Swedish healthcare law, public health and gender-equality policies
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Global Health.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3083-106x
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Police Education Unit at Umeå University.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7878-4309
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Global Health. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
2020 (English)In: BMC Public Health, E-ISSN 1471-2458, Vol. 20, no 1, article id 753Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article focuses on policy and law concerning violence against women as a public health issue. In Sweden, violence against women is recently recognized as a public health problem; we label this shift "The public health turn on violence against women". The new framing implies increased demands on the Swedish healthcare sector and its’ ability to recognise violence and deal with it in terms of prevention and interventions. The aim was to describe and discuss the main content and characteristics of Swedish healthcare law, and national public health and gender-equality policies representing the public health turn on violence against women. Through discursive policy analysis, we investigate how the violence is described, what is regarded to be the problem and what solutions and interventions that are suggested in order to solve the problem. Healthcare law articulates violence against women as an ordinary healthcare issue and the problem as shortcomings to provide good healthcare for victims, but without specifying what the problem or the legal obligation for the sector is. The public health problem is rather loosely defined, and suggested interventions are scarce and somewhat vague. The main recommendations for healthcare are to routinely ask patients about violence exposure. Violence against women is usually labelled "violence within close relationships" in the policies, and it is not necessarily described as a gender equality problem. While violence against women in some policy documents is clearly framed as a public health problem, such a framing is absent in others, or is transformed into a gender-neutral problem of violence within close relationships. It is not clearly articulated what the framing should lead to in terms of the healthcare sector's obligations, interventions and health promotions, apart from an ambivalent discourse on daring to ask about violence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2020. Vol. 20, no 1, article id 753
Keywords [en]
Violence against women, Intimate partner violence, Public health, Gender equality, Policy, Healthcare services, Sweden, Governing, Healthcare law
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
gender studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-171239DOI: 10.1186/s12889-020-08766-7ISI: 000537218700010PubMedID: 32448199Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85085465654OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-171239DiVA, id: diva2:1433102
Part of project
The public health turn on violence against women - healthcare system´s readiness and governance, Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2015-00929Available from: 2020-05-29 Created: 2020-05-29 Last updated: 2023-08-28Bibliographically approved

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Öhman, AnnBurman, MonicaCarbin, MariaEdin, Kerstin

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Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS)Department of Epidemiology and Global HealthPolice Education Unit at Umeå UniversityDepartment of Nursing
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BMC Public Health
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

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CiteExportLink to record
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