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Filling out the compulsory notification in health services that care for women who suffer from sexual violence


To evaluate the proportion of health services that fill out the compulsory notification and what the main difficulties to fill it out are.


A study was carried out with two different approaches. For the quantitative approach, a cross sectional study was performed, with telephone data collection. In the state of São Paulo, 291 health services that had reported providing care to women who suffer from sexual violence were identified. The sample was composed of 172 services that reported providing emergency care to women. In the qualitative approach, case studies were conducted. Six cities were chosen by intention and convenience. For each of them, professionals from two health services were invited to participate. Forty-five semi-structured interviews were conducted. For quantitative data, a descriptive analysis was carried out. For qualitative data, a thematic analysis of content was performed.


The proportion of health services which reported always filling out the notification in cases of sexual violence was 79.1%. More than half (53.5%) reported difficulties concerning the assisted women, one third reported reasons related to the form, and 29.7%, to the professionals. In the qualitative approach, the main difficulties were the size of the form, the problems to obtain the information about the woman and the difficulty for the professional to obtain this information.


Although most health services claimed to fill out the compulsory notification, they also mentioned several difficulties to do so, especially with regard to the workload of professionals and the misunderstanding about the importance of the notification in the context of comprehensive care to women who suffer from sexual violence.

Sexual Violence; Women; Health services; Emergency care; Disease notification; Violence against women

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