Vall d’ Hebron renews its commitment to combat gender violence, coinciding with 25-N

The event culminated with a theatrical performance by Grup Píndoles of the play "We Would Prefer Not to", a piece of physical theatre that depicts the injuries and violence suffered by women in a toxic relationship.

23/11/2023

Once again, Vall d'Hebron has restated its commitment to the fight against violence against women, coinciding with 25-N, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Gender violence is the most serious manifestation of inequality towards women and a serious public health problem, an attack on individual freedom and a violation of human rights. According to data from the Ministry of the Interior, this year Catalonia has registered 12,957 victims of domestic violence. To show its rejection of violence against women, Vall d'Hebron organised a special, very emotional event, presented to the Hospital Infantil i de la Dona (Children's and Women's Hospital).

Dr Maria José Abadias Medrano, deputy director of care at Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, welcomed the attendees to the event, highlighting the pride of having a Committee on Gender Violence, with the participation of professionals from all specialities, to improve its approach at Vall d'Hebron. Professionals from the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), the Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) and the Multiple Sclerosis Centre of Catalonia (Cemcat) then gave speeches condemning violence against women. The anthropologist Dr Serena Brigidi, a researcher in Maternal and Foetal Medicine at VHIR, emphasised the importance of the gender perspective in the fight against gender violence, the most visible and the not so obvious.

Dr Carmen Escudero, PhD Student of VHIO's Upper Gastrointestinal Tumours Group and scientific disseminator at VHIO's Communication Department, who highlighted the inequalities between women in research. "In general, we women scientists have to work harder, we earn less, we are valued less, and we have to juggle a successful professional life with the whole range of responsibilities and care that we usually have outside work, which is usually greater than theirs, as this role of carers has been socially assigned to women alone.  Women, moreover, have to deal with violence against women, which we must not forget also occurs in the workplace", reflected Dr Carmen Escudero. Lastly, Dr Rebeca Menéndez, Cemcat neuropsychologist, reflected that the study of gender violence suffered by women with incapacitating diseases such as multiple sclerosis is still needed in order to make them more visible.

Ariadna Gomà and Cristina Soler, members of the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital's Cross-Cutting Committee on Gender Violence, then read a statement against gender violence. "In our field, we stress the importance of due diligence, which means the professional obligation to act responsibly in accordance with protocols and legislation, when we are aware of a situation of gender violence", the statement emphasises. Offering victims a person-centred care that takes into account intersectionality has been another point that has been highlighted: it is necessary to identify discriminatory elements such as ethnicity, gender, age, functionality, and class as determining factors that can have an impact on the situation of gender-based violence. We must also remember that children who are in a situation of domestic violence are also direct victims", said Gomà and Soler.

The event culminated with a theatrical performance by Grup Píndoles of the play "We Would Prefer Not to". It is a textless piece of physical theatre, performed by two actresses, Andrea Eraso and Lisa Reventós, who, through their gestures and with sounds, explain and represent the injuries and violence received by women in a toxic relationship. The two women, from their loneliness and lack of love, search for each other in an inevitable journey.

Totems and awareness-raising actions

Furthermore, purple totems have been placed in the lobbies of the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), the Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) and the Multiple Sclerosis Centre of Catalonia (Cemcat) to commemorate the 25-N, with the slogan 'Actua tu també! (You can act too!). The totems show that the victims of violence against women are not alone and the aggressions can be not only physical, but also sexual, environmental and social. Furthermore, Vall d'Hebron has created an iceberg-shaped board to bring to light both the most visible and the less obvious violence. Patients and companions, as well as professionals from Vall d’ Hebron, can pin their messages to the panel. In addition, and coinciding with 25-N, Vall d'Hebron has carried out a participatory action on social networks to find out the level of awareness of users of social networks.
 

 Gender violence is the most serious manifestation of inequality towards women and a serious public health problem, an attack on individual freedom and a violation of human rights.

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