Episode 35: Gender-Based Violence & Human Trafficking Part 2

Author: Eoghan Colgan    @eoghan_colgan
Special Guest: Kath Gallagher



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Guest Bios

Kath Gallagher

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Kath Gallagher is the executive lead for Gender Based Violence at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

Show Notes

Eoghan and Kath discuss Gender-Based Violence - why it’s important, how it can present, how to tackle it, and a whole lot more.

Take Home Points

How best to help

  • Firstly determine the level of risk they feel they are under

    • if risk very high then call the police

      • best done with their consent but does not require it

    • if they can manage the risk but want support:

      • find a way to provide the support details in a discrete way

        • this could be done using special lip salves (with numbers printed on them in the form of bar-codes)

        • hidden within headed letters

      • they could be discharged to speak to their GP or another health professional at a future appointment

        • most have been trained in the issue


  • Reassure them there is help available and the health services are there to support them.

    • this type of behaviour is not acceptable and there is lots of support out there for them

  • GP - an appointment can be used as a chance to follow-up with the patient

    • you don’t need the patients permission to put information in the GP letter but it is good practice to say that you will


  • POLICE - if immediate risk is high

  • other options:

    • WOMEN’S AID Helpline

    • Out of hours social work

    • you can support them to make the first call in the department if the partner is our of the room/cubicle

      • this can often empower the woman to make contact with them again in the future


  • between 9 - 5: contact Women’s Aid (see below)

    • an arrangement will be made to get the woman to a Women’s Aid Office (probably by taxi)

    • the staff will then determine the risk and try to find her a place of sdafety

    • if none immediately available they will find a refuge as close as possible (neighbouring town/city) until one becomes available

  • An alternative option is Homelessness Accommodation City Council who can help with emergency temporary accommodation

Psychiatric Support

  • If patients are distressed: you can involve local psychiatric services or crisis teams


  • this can happen to men too

  • Best way to access help:



Human Trafficking

  • Reasons:

    • commercial sexual exploitation

    • domestic exploitation

    • labour exploitation

  • Women, men and children can be trafficked

  • they can experience more than one of the above reasons


  • typically they are not native to the country and don’t speak English very well

    • although people can be trafficked internally within the UK

  • they may be someone who lacks documentation (e.g. passport) and not registered with a GP

  • Behaviour

    • they may appear frightened or evasive

    • there may be a person present who speaks on their behalf, or closes down the interaction

  • Remember not to use these ‘friend's’ or ‘family members’ as interpreters

Useful Information

  • For people outwith the UK

    • still entitled to health services as any UK citizen

    • they are entitled to free emergency care and ongoing acute service care

      • this is different to Wales and England

  • If they disclose trafficking:

    • they are entitled to 90 days to have their case investigated

    • during this time they have access to:

      • psychological support

      • practical support such as food and shelter

    • at then end of the 90 day period a decision will be made on their right to remain in the country

      • they will be supported to return to their country if that is what they wish

  • Human Trafficking Services:


    • TARA - victims of human trafficking

  • There will be special arrangements for people under 18

    • child-protection procedures to be followed

  • if they were forced into criminal acts as part of their trafficking then they will not be prosecuted

    • the context of the act will be taken into consideration

Refusing to disclose

  • if you are highly suspicious but they refuse to disclose:

    • let them know what their options are and what services are available

    • tell them what their entitlements are (they will have been told lies from their captors)

    • tell them about the 90 day reflection period and they will be looked after during this time

  • they may choose to access then or at a later date.


  • Health Workers may have that one chance to get help and protection for these vulnerable people, so:

    • look for the signs

    • know how to respond


Glasgow City Council Homelessness Page: https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/article/17283/Homelessness

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Hannah BellComment