Underestimated occupational hazard: Why nurses are so often the victims of sexual Assault

There are moments that burn themselves indelibly in our memory. One of those moments meets Anna* up today with anger. It was a day like so many others. A Patient sat in front of her on the bed. She pulled off him. Before she knew what was happening to her, stroking the man in her arms, put his hands on her hips. “You do that very well, Little one,” he said to her. The expression in his voice chased her with a shudder of disgust over the back. “I was so perplexed that I first brought no word out. The man in the neighboring bed, watched the Situation with wide eyes,” she says. Of him was, therefore, expect no help. After a few moments, managed Anna to be. Abruptly she drew back and stopped short of the man in front of her. That you had to be someone who is at least 40 years older, precautions, it can still hardly believe.

Anna is 21 years old and began last October in a hospital as a trainee nurse. Only half a year since last. But now sexual harassment seem to belong to by patients for you to work. “I’ve heard of so many Friends and colleagues have similar stories. And even worse. A Patient presented once a nursing student, his bared erection. He wanted to show her his love, he said.”

Large Taboo

Anna is not with your experience alone. A study of the Health psychologist, Claudia Depauli showed a few years ago that 67 percent of the nurses have already become the victims of sexual harassment. In a survey of the health portal “Medscape” reported one third of the nursing staff of the sexual Assault patient, and the alone in the course of the past three years. Also, a study of the Federal anti-discrimination Agency showed that employees in the health and social sectors are particularly affected by sexual harassment in the workplace. In a study by the Berufsgenossenschaft for health and welfare, more than 90 percent of the approximately 1600 workers interviewed reported verbal and 70 percent of physical Violence.

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“In fact, there are few concrete Figures to the actual extent of the problem. But if you ask, there are as good as not a single woman, the not of Assault and harassment, reports knew,” says Gabriele Tammen-Parr in an Interview with the star. The graduate social pedagogue, is the founder of “care in Emergency”, a Berlin Advisory office in case of conflicts and violence in the care. For years they tried to create sensitivity and awareness of this topic. You also know cases in which men are the target of Attacks become. But this happens very rarely.

The reason for the lack of data Tammen looks-Parr, especially in the taboo nature of the topic. “Sexual Assault can be terrifying places, often as a day’s work or illness, the images belonging to hung. As is often said of the offender that allow fisticuffs: Oh, so it is always. Women, the suits try on the undesirable Approach, it is recommended to behave kindly show professionally, and to learn to deal with it.” The Affected’m going under, either not professional enough or being too sensitive. “This leads to even more insecurity and self-doubt, so that the victims prefer to remain silent,” laments Tammen-Parr.

“I was afraid, to be used as a Mimosa stamped”

It’s a dangerous spiral of silence is created. Out of fear of criticism and lack of understanding incidents of sexual harassment. And each is fighting a battle in which she thinks she’s alone. The more victims are silent, the harder it is to break, for the individual the Silence.

Anna-in-law. “I was afraid, to be used as a Mimosa stamped. I was afraid to hear that the Patient is just an older man who finds me cute. As is often argued,” she says. So she had convinced herself that nothing particularly Bad has happened. “I know that it is stupid. But in the moment I couldn’t bring myself to tell a supervisor of the incident.” You knew in your hospital from any point of contact, to which you could refer. And how to behave in such situations, I explained to her that nobody. “I know of many such cases that were never reported. The girls have fear of not being taken seriously, to be on a different Station misplaced or even losing your Job.”

The graduate social pedagogue, is the founder of “care in Emergency”, a Berlin Advisory office in case of conflicts and violence in the care. Carrier, the Diakonisches Werk Berlin Stadtmitte e. V. is

Why nurses special risk are exposed to

But why it comes so often to sexual harassment of nurses? Experts see two reasons for this. For one, the perpetrators have to fear consequences only rarely. Many employers want to simply lose a customer writes about the elderly care magazine. On the other, the perpetrators feel due to the proximity to your nursing staff the ability to exceed limits, you would true under other circumstances.

Encounters go hand in hand in the care with intimate moments. The Parties are close to, in part, physically. Changing rooms, Hairdressing, Wash, help with toilet – many tasks require close contact. For the perpetrators it is easy for these moments to Assault and exploit. Some patients try, for example, under a pretext, the Care to move touches in the genital area. With requests for more detailed investigations or special Care your choice mask their desire for sexual satisfaction.

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In the study of psychologist Depauli, a Nurse described a case that has shocked especially. “During an intimate care for an old man he has made steady lewd remarks about the Situation. Came to be that he had a pressure on the testicles, which had to be Creamed according to the regulation with a cream. When you RUB it in, he pressed my Hand to his Penis and said ‘don, this is nice for both of us! No fear, my Small’ – I found the Situation so repulsive and disgusting that I still have weeks later a rage against him felt.”

In outpatient care, it comes to severe cases of sexual Assault. “Here are often Younger than in hospitals or care facilities,” says Tammen-Parr the Situation. In addition, the nurses to the patients here in your home. She remembers a case where the nurse had downright scared to enter the apartment of the patient. “The man was at the end of 40 and pretty fit. In the case of the competent institution, it was generally known that he is pushy. The nurses stepped into his apartment only after you called colleagues and they were on the phone listening in. Thus, in the case of emergency intervention could be.”

“You have to take his own discomfort seriously”

For Tammen-Parr this case is a Prime example of how in the industry, sexual harassment is dealt with. “We all know it, but little to do.” Executives are often overwhelmed when Attacks are reported.

“The issue is not addressed in the nursing all the time. It cooks only when there is a specific case. It is the responsibility of the employer to raise the awareness of its employees and prepared for such situations,” said Tammen-Parr. “The leaders should signal that the Problem just exists and is taken seriously.”

Please help Victims of domestic violence. Foundation star e. V. will forward your donation to women’s protection and Advisory associations in Germany. Foundation star e. V. – IBAN DE90 2007 0000 0469 9500 01 – BIC DEUTDEHH – keyword: home. More info www.sicherheim.org

#home is an action of UFA, the Agency’s “The message”, as well as the Bertelsmann Content Alliance, to include the in addition to the UFA, the media group RTL, RTL Radio Deutschland, Verlagsgruppe Random House, the BMG and the publishing house Gruner year in which the star appears.

Here one thing is in demand: prevention. “Nationwide, there are hardly any training for the issue of sexual harassment in care”. For the social worker this is an unacceptable condition. “It is essential that facilities protect their employees. Everyone needs to know how he behaves in an unpleasant or even dangerous position.” Because, of all things, in extreme situations, he added, the Affected rarely, to act decisively.

“The most important message should always be: Man is his own scale,” says Tammen-Parr. Where sexual harassment begins, define each individual for himself. “I feel that my discomfort should be taken seriously, even if the colleagues have different standards,” appeals to you. Especially verbal harassment should be taken very seriously and it will be rejected quite clearly. “And if patients, despite the admonition, grip, then the facilities must be willing to forego a customer.”

The Three-Steps-Behavior Model

The sensitivity of the issue also has the professional Association for health service and Wohlfahrtspflege (BGW) is detected. The statutory accident insurance for non-governmental entities to support their member companies in the prevention of violence and Aggression. “The opportunities range from information materials, seminars for executives, up to and including training of de-escalation trainers and coaches,” says psychologist Claudia Vaupel from the BGW to the star. She makes it clear: “the prevention of violence, protection of the work. Companies need to develop structures and concepts Employed from sexual violence to protect and follow-up care to make sure those.” No workers, no worker should tolerate violence, Attacks and insults.

“Companies can protect their employees and staff from Aggression and violence, if you consider the theme to be appropriate in the statutory risk assessment,” says Vaupel. If the employees were not prepared by your institution well in critical situations and how to deal with violence, they would have a lower risk to experience violence.

It comes to an incident, the BGW recommends that the persons concerned, a Three-step behavioral model:

Sexual harassment and violence at the workplace had to be especially transparent, says Vaupel more. “That is to say, to report, first of all, the employee’s supervisor. Additional contact persons can be company doctors, safety experts or occupational representation of interests.” Very important, that the person Concerned should not be ashamed of the sexual harassment and violence itself. “Especially in nursing Occupations, the tendency of violent events is to trivialize or taboo to use because they are supposedly the profession. Some people think, I would have applied the correct educational concept, this would not have happened. They feel that the experienced Situation as your own failure.” It is all the more important that managers take the employees seriously and a clear Position against sexual harassment in the workplace are taking.

Anna has not reported their time, the atrocity that you have remained so vivid in your memory. Today she regrets it. “I would recommend all women to take every incident seriously. Says the patient to his face that you will not accept, what for you is unpleasant. It may just be nothing that women hide everything!”

*Name changed by the editors.

#home is an action of UFA, the Agency’s “The message”, as well as the Bertelsmann Content Alliance, to include the in addition to the UFA, the media group RTL, RTL Radio Deutschland, Verlagsgruppe Random House, the BMG and the publishing house Gruner year in which the star appears. More sicherheim.org.

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