Training Underway for Midwives
Having documented the horror stories of some women who have been abused during pregnancy, Cynthia Pitter, lecturer at the University of the West Indies (UWI) School of Nursing, Mona, has trained more than 50 midwives in a bid to ensure that persons in the profession are properly sensitised to handle issues of domestic violence.
The lecturer revealed that having interviewed 277 women who were patients at two major hospitals in the corporate area, 36 per cent of them disclosed that their spouses had beaten them during pregnancy. The study was conducted in 2014.
Pitter, who is also a trained midwife, told The Gleaner that with the help of other stakeholders and a possible increase in funding, she is expecting that more medical persons will get training during this year and beyond.
"I started in January of last year, where we trained midwives and nurses as to how to address issues of domestic violence. I believe that as nurses and midwives, we need to have a position and we have established that gender-based violence is not acceptable," Pitter told The Gleaner.
"We (midwives and nurses) are front-line persons, which means there is a level of confidence that people have in us, but we have to be trained to handle it. Sometimes when you hear the horror stories, even you yourself can be impacted. Even the way how you sit when you are collecting data is important, thus, persons must be trained," she continued.
She indicated that collaboration would be critical going forward in order to bring about sustainable solutions.
"During the training, we got a pastor who is also a psychologist, the police came on board as well, and we also had a psychotherapist. The process has started but, unfortunately, we only think of our nurses when we get sick, so we don't have that investment being made in research like these. We do hope, however, that we can have robust work going," she declared.