Foundation Center for Quality in Nursing
Sexualised violence in nursing homes is a relevant phenomenon. Their prevention is correspondingly important. Fundamental to this is raising awareness and training the nursing staff. For this purpose, the Center for Quality in Nursing (ZQP) has developed science-based working material as part of a cooperation project with the German Police University (DHPol).
Sexualised violence does not only occur exceptionally in inpatient long-term care. This can occur in various constellations and affect all groups of people who come together in a care facility. Victims of sexualized violence are, for example, employees, residents or guests of the facility. Elderly people in need of care are particularly vulnerable. They are often unable to defend themselves well and tend to be at the mercy of others. For various reasons, their need is often not recognized, for example because they remain silent out of shame, because they find it difficult to communicate – and because people do not look carefully. Research assumes that most incidents remain hidden.
“Sexualized violence can manifest itself in many ways – through words, gestures, through physical contact, but also in other forms. It does not have to be malicious or sexually motivated. The spectrum ranges from the disregard of shame limits, e.g. in personal hygiene, to those perceived as humiliating remarks, inappropriate touching, photographing naked people up to massive abuse”, explains PD Dr. Ralf Suhr, Chairman of the Board of the ZQP. The occurrence of sexualized violence can be favored structurally or by individual factors such as illnesses. And it can be exercised, for example, by roommates in a facility, employees there or external service providers, voluntary supporters or relatives. The effects of sexualised violence on the health and quality of life of those affected can be serious. Accordingly, facilities and their employees have a considerable responsibility for preventive action – especially with regard to particularly vulnerable residents.
In order to support this, the ZQP has developed freely accessible working material for professional care. This was based on five research contributions in the project “Sexual/Sexualised Violence in Long-Term Care Facilities in Germany”. The project was carried out jointly by the ZQP and the DHPol and was funded by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. “Sexualized violence is still a taboo subject in some facilities, or is at least only dealt with to a very limited extent. Our results should contribute in particular to raising awareness of the phenomenon, possible border crossings and differentiated perceptions – especially in the context of dementia,” adds Dr. Simon Eggert, head of the project at the ZQP.
The working material offers knowledge and practical suggestions for the prevention of sexualized violence against residents. It is designed to be open to dialogue and is intended to promote active engagement with the topic and reflection on one’s own practical experiences. For example, information about manifestations and possible signs of sexualised violence as well as influencing factors is conveyed. In addition, concrete suggestions are given for structural, process-related and individual measures for prevention as well as for the procedure in the event of incidents. The presentation slides and worksheets can be used in nursing homes and in teaching at nursing schools. They are primarily aimed at caregivers and managers, but can also be used in an interdisciplinary manner to train all employees of care facilities at all levels.
The material and the final report on the project are available via the ZQP portal www.pflege-gewalt.de freely accessible, can be downloaded and used free of charge.
Tel.: 030 994 05 62 – 22
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Original content from: Foundation Center for Quality in Nursing, transmitted by news aktuell