“Being a doctor means protecting, alerting and preventing when one of our patients finds themselves in a situation that could put them in danger”

PMore than a third – 35.7% – of female victims of sexual violence before the age of 18 say the perpetrator was a member of their family. This figure, taken from the recent study by the National Institute for Demographic Studies (INED) published on June 21, is in line with the conclusions of the various reports on domestic violence, which are particularly worrying (“ Sexual violence during childhood and adolescence: family assaults that are little talked about », by Elise Marsicano, Nathalie Bajos, Jeanna-Eve Pousson, « Population and societies », INED). Up 16%, the number of victims of sexual violence amounts to 160,000 per year, with a sharp increase in the number of cases of child abuse.

For us doctors, our job is unique in that beyond the medical act and the diagnosis, it asks us to accompany, assist, enlighten, support but also prevent those we are led to follow. and heal. Only, this notion of prevention is sometimes delicate, it is true that being a doctor also means protecting and therefore alerting and preventing when one of our patients finds themselves in a situation that could put them in danger.

Adequate legal protection

The Grenelle on domestic violence [2019] has thus enabled the Order of Physicians to develop responsible solutions to respond to these sensitive issues that are driving the national debate. Despite the obstacles inherent in professional secrecy, the ordinal institution has been able to develop, in consultation with doctors, institutions and public decision-makers, useful tools for doctors in reporting and combating domestic violence.

Read also: Incest: the order of doctors is “not in favor” of a “reporting obligation” for doctors

Among them, the vade-mecum on violence within the couple, the departmental ordinal commissions vigilance-violence-security and the accompaniment in the various procedures to be undertaken.

Beyond the measures already in place, the order of doctors wishes to work towards a significant reinforcement of the support for doctors when they are led to make a report. We consider it essential to guarantee adequate legal protection to all doctors, including those practicing in private practice, who do not necessarily benefit from the same support systems as their hospital counterparts.

Preparation of a bill

With this in mind, within the order, we have drawn up a bill that we wish to submit to the legislative power. This bill aims to simplify and clarify reporting procedures for independent doctors, in order to make them more accessible and efficient. By establishing clear guidelines and an appropriate legal structure, we seek to facilitate the reporting process and reduce any administrative or legal barriers that could hinder reporting.

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