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Victims of violence need professionals who dare to face the situation

Approximately every third Finnish woman above the age of 15 has experienced physical or sexual violence. Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (SAMK) organizes education for the professionals of various fields, who encounter those that have just suffered from violence.

8.11.2019 | By: Aino Pelto-Huikko | Photo: Pixabay

Someone hiding behind autumn leaves

Education aimed at public health nurses, police officers, social workers, paramedics, teachers, elderly care workers and other professionals offers national and international best practices, and raises the awareness of professionals of the challenges in facing the victims of violence.

Victims of recent violence are encountered in various professions

Many professionals in day care centres, schools, health care centres, social services centres or the police face in their daily life people who have just experienced violence. A good first encounter with the person who has experienced violence and guidance to the right services supports coping with the violence.

– It is very common that the person who has experienced violence tries to hide it, or downplays the situation and blames oneself. It is of extreme importance that the professionals are aware of this behaviour, a local professional in working against violence tells us.

Encountering can be learned: the disabled, the elderly and immigrants now at the centre

SAMK participates in an international Vivien (Victim Violence Educational Network) educational project. The project emphasizes especially the sensitive competence needed when encountering vulnerable women, e.g. those physically or mentally disabled, the elderly and immigrants.

All professionals are able to encounter people in a good manner, as long as they have enough information. Sometimes also professionals unconsciously maintain cultural models related to sexuality or different forms of violence and at its worst unintentionally create experiences of secondary victimization.

Professionals bring out clearly the need for education

– Based on the initial study of Vivien project, under 15 percent of professionals in the fields of social services, health care and rehabilitation have further education in working against violence, mentions Marjo Keckman from SAMK.

SAMK develops education as a part of Vivien project together with Finnish top professionals in working against violence, i.e. The Federation of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters, The Finnish Federation of Settlement Houses as well as anchor teams of the police force, and other European actors in the field of working against violence. In addition, Italian, Croatian and Bulgarian professionals of working against violence are involved.

Finland brings body awareness competence to the project

Finland brings to the project methods that utilize especially bodiliness and body awareness when helping those who have encountered violence. These methods enable encountering and helping the victims of violence in a new way.

–  Recent neurophysiological and neuropsychological studies have revealed that utilization of bodiliness and promotion of body awareness are important tools in coping with the trauma, Satu Vaininen tells us.

Six seminars  for professionals

During autumn 2019 and spring 2020 six seminars will be arranged for professionals. The seminars include topics such as learning to encounter, updating professionals´ knowledge about phenomena related to violence and guidance to services, with connection to e.g. domestic abuse, dating violence and honour related violence. Furthermore, as a part of the project an application of SomeBody method, which was developed in Satakunta, Finland, will be further developed to help victims of violence in a more long-term way.

The kick-off seminar was organized on 15 October, with The Federation of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters and The Finnish Federation of Settlement Houses and their local representatives participating.

See other seminars of the project

For more information, contact:

Satu Vaininen, tel. 044 7103865, email:

SAMK in social media