LIVES: new video series to strengthen health system responses to violence against women

13 Jun 2022
LIVES: new video series to strengthen first-line support in cases of sexual assault or intimate partner violence

PAHO has launched LIVES series, a collection of short videos as a new resource to strengthen capacity of health workers on identification and first-line support in cases of sexual assault or intimate partner violence. The series, produced with the support of Canada, is part of PAHO´s work to provide technical assistance to Member States to respond to violence against women and girls.

Violence against women remains a major challenge in the Americas, and has received new visibility in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. One in three women and girls has experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, mostly by an intimate partner – with enormous health consequences in the short, medium and long term. These costs can be prevented.  

Health workers have a critical role in responding to women and girl survivors and mitigating the health and social consequences of violence. When health workers are able to identify at-risk groups early, provide them with quality care and adapt support to their specific needs and preferences, they make a major difference to the health and wellbeing of women and girls in all their diversity. This is why it is critical for health workers to be trained in non-judgmental and emphatic care of survivors, including first-line support (LIVES).  

The LIVES series takes its name from the acronym used as a reminder of the key five tasks involved in first-line support: 1.- Listen 2.- Inquire about needs and concerns 3.- Validate 4.- Enhance Safety 5.- Support.

The videos can be used to inform trainings of health workers – face-to-face, hybrid or virtual learning – or serve as a quick reminder of key steps in the support to be provided to each survivor. These resources directly respond to the needs in countries of the Americas and are aligned with priorities of the Strategy and Plan of Action on strengthening the Health System to Address Violence against Women for 2015-2025 and related resources by PAHO/WHO, such as the clinical handbook and the training curriculum for health workers.