The Sociodemographic Characteristics and the Thoughts on Primary Healthcare of the Women in the Women’s Shelters Affiliated with the Municipalities in Ankara

Hüsna Sarıca Çevik, Ayşe Selda Tekiner

Keywords: Family Medicine, Intimate Partner Violence, Primary Healthcare, Spousal Abuse, Violence Against Women


Violence against women is a global problem, based on gender inequality. When the generality of the violence and the physical, mental, and social problems caused by violence are considered, taking protective measures and supporting women, who are exposed to violence by early identification are important.

Research questions:

It is aimed to determine the sociodemographic characteristics of women and their frequency of applying to the family doctors and sharing the information about the violence that is exposed to before they consult to a women's shelter, to define their opinions about the physician and the family medicine system.


After the Local Ethical Committee approval, this study, which was carried out in the three Women’s Shelters in Ankara, between April 1st - May 31st, 2019, was accomplished by 55 participants. An in-depth interview was conducted using a semi-structured interview form including open-ended questions.


It was detected that psychological violence turned into physical, sexual, and/or economic violence. The reasons that 89% of the women did not tell the family physician that they were exposed to violence were primarily shame, lack of communication with the doctor, concerns about confidentiality, and the thought that the subject was beyond the scope of the family doctor. The participants stated that family doctors could contribute to the prevention of violence by questioning the women about violence and making the necessary referrals (65,5%) and providing psychological support in the family health center (34,5%).


The family physician has an important role in identifying intimate partner violence and activating the support system for victims of violence. When intimate partner violence is detected, or there is any suspicion, the family doctor is in an ideal position to help the victim as the first stage of accessibility to healthcare services, providing patient-centered and ongoing care.

Points for discussion:

The role of the family physician to determine the violence against women

The expectations of the violence sufferers from the family physicians

The reasons for the lack of scanning of intimate partner violence in family medicine