Background Seamless pathways of care for victims of sexual violence are important to the provision of effective acute care, which can help prevent subsequent traumatization and other long-term effects and support criminal investigation of the case. Nowadays, in Finland, there are only a few locations in the country where the victims of sexual violence have access to seamless pathways of care.
Description of the problem Hospital districts answered an enquiry that was conducted in the spring of 2015 about the present state of the services. The existing pathways of care for the victims of sexual violence were explored. According to the enquiry, hospital districts often lack adequate information and guidelines for helping the victims of sexual violence. Furthermore, a literacy review was made about the global and local recommendations concerning the service needs of victims. The review revealed a lot of good international and national guidelines about the victims’ service needs.
Results National Institute for Health and Welfare is now developing (during 2015–2016) a national service model for acute medical and psychosocial care of victims of sexual violence. The included pathways of care will contain guidelines for forensic, medical and psychosocial care and follow-up services including psychosocial support and sexual health services. The guidelines are meant to be adapted to specific local circumstances.
Conclusions The pathways link different service providers on primary and special health care, voluntary sector and police together and improve cooperation. The guidelines are aimed to guide the development of health services for victims of sexual violence. They are also of relevance to policy-makers in charge of health service planning at local level.
- Sexual violence
- seamless pathways of care
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