Hi everyone. It's a pleasure being with you in this course. I will introduce myself so that you know who I am and contextualize what will this small virtual class consist on. I'm Jesús Pérez, graduate in psychology and doctor in social intervention, I work as director for the Aspacia foundation for coexistence which is an entity specialized in assistance and intervention in violence situations. The foundation's objective is eradicating violence in all its expressions and assisting to repair those people who are violence victims. Specially and with a very high specialization level we also work with gender violence. I will try to isolate those factors I consider really important to be taken into account when making an emergency intervention with gender violence victims, with the objective of understanding better how the victim got there, which is the psychological situation in which she can be so that interventions have a double objective, on one side effective interventions at an affordable emotional cost for the professional teams which take part in this kind of assistance. I would like to tell you that the aggression or a gender violence situation which affects women or that can affect kids, which we must remember are also direct victims of the violence situation, require an immediate professional intervention. And situations in which there is an aggression require a very specialized professional assistance whose objective is generating trust and safety and offering a first calmed assistance which allows us to then take the woman to a specialized service to go on with the treatment. And this means we should make an exception, about the kind of aggression there might be and I understand that if the scenario in which we are is the scenario where a woman has been the victim of a physical or psychological aggression, and the scenario where a woman could have been a mortal victim, we are facing a bit different situation, where our main objective would be assisting the victim's families and also helping their sons, relatives and even neighbors. Then we will explain why we should help everyone in this kind of situations. The need of calming down and generating trust in the woman is one of the most important elements. I would like to introduce you to a small discussion so that we contextualize violence towards women and violence towards kids, which somehow are affected and make it a different violence or a different kind of victims from a disaster's victim, although the emergency psychological assistance's objective is quite similar and it's offered in a safety context, reducing the emotional impact and working with the acute stress symptoms or posttraumatic stress symptoms which happen in this kind of situations. Having been victim of a casual event doesn't make psychological reaction quite different, but it's still not the same kind of reaction. The origin, the explanation and the consequences they have for someone who is a victim of this situation. Usually most women who are suffering violence from their couples have been suffering it for a long time. When we are in an intervention in an emergency because of an unusual aggression, we find a woman with a symptomatology similar to another kind of situation, very stressing and very shocking in their life, but with very different emotional connotations because the person who made this violence situation is still an emotionally close person to this woman, her couple, her ex-boyfriend, her son's father, so the reactions' emotional complexity, the ambivalence and the confusion victims have are very, very important and they should be taken into account in this kind of situations. I'll give you an example to illustrate this. Usually, when you have an accident and you survive but it is a psychologically highly shocking incident, your home, your family, your closest environment can become a calm focus and an important intervention focus. In this kind of situations, it's precisely the home, the couple, the ex-boyfriend or the maximum privacy context the hostile environment. So a difficult part of the intervention is not only assisting the victim's psychological reaction in this moment, but also understanding that probably this is the beginning of a change or the beginning of a long tour if it's the first aggression or the beginning of an emotional breakdown with the aggressor, either because the police has come or because she must be taken to an emergency place or because she must be protected outside her house to prevent the aggression. Always taking into account that these situations are always different and complex regarding each of the victims. Well, there's a very important characteristic about gender violence, and it's that it usually happens in a private environment. Which means that the aggression might first be familiar to the woman because it has previously happened, but that most of the relatives, victims, neighbors or close people usually don't even know the situation this woman is passing through. The coexistence and emotional relation status between an aggressor and a victim which have an emotional relationship ends up causing something called the battered woman defense. What's the battered woman defense? It's similar to Stockholm syndrome, those people who are kidnapped and generate an ambivalent psychological reaction on the person, on the woman we are assisting because they still have an emotional personal dependence with their aggressor and although in that moment the emergency and psychological assistance services, as well as the police, safety bodies, etc. we will probably be with someone who is worried about her aggressor, she will want to know where he is, she won't want the police to do anything to him or that even denies starting the process. Psychological management is totally important because most of these women show very important guilt symptoms which we must take and understand from the beginning to understand, analyze and assist from this affective nonsense which can generate thoughts such as: you are supposed to be the aggressor but also someone important for me. And there are also minors in this process, the intervention is absolutely important, because minors, apart from being in the situation or being direct victims of this violence, they are in an important vulnerability situation. Violence victims characteristically show important signs of fear, ambivalence and confusion, which is what we were saying before, they usually show shame and a loneliness feeling, and this is also a part of the work the aggressor makes to victimize the victim. In the end anyone close to the couple, ex-couple, family or ex-family ends up becoming a nuisance. So usually to make a long term maltreatment which ends in an unusual aggression in which you must participate, we find out that the victim has little social resources to ask for help, to go out, to stay somewhere else because people or isolation strategy the aggressor has begun with her completely isolates her. Sometimes we find victims in the professional field who are ashamed to explain what happened, because it's still in many people's subconscious the fact that it's like talking about family problems, relationship problems, showing up a situation we are living in our private life. So we must take into account these reactions to properly assist at an affordable emotional cost, which professionals who are participating can assume. In this context and situation, battered woman defense can develop behaviors we can't understand at the moment of help, because they won't let us help them or they will be more aware of other things that are happening and not to her symptoms. To work with them in an emergency situation we must know which are the specialized resources given the prevalence of gender violence in Spain, there are Spanish national assistance phones, if you are in other countries also governments have specific victims assistance programs , which can be very useful in a determined moment so that people can call, or so that, once you made the first contention intervention and you generated trust and safety you can later begin a derivation so that they are in a safety and trust situation, so that they can receive a treatment. Because this is one of the most important violence characteristics, violence has happened in a trust context, it has lowered down the victim's reaction capacities, so emergencies intervention is a very important intervention to control symptoms, but not only to control symptoms, but also to connect this woman to possible people that can help her to go on. Why? Because emotional and psychological damage she has due to being victim of maltreatment in such a continuous way, finally requires a much more complex intervention process, much more extended in time and much more adapted to the situation of each woman. Also posterior judicial processes, such as the guardianship or the parental rights if they have kids or if the couple or ex couple has them, difficults this intervention. Because it's still the beginning of many processes they must begin to get to it. Even things as simple as leaving home, leaving their things and belongings, are situations which generate an extra psychological stress to the already existent stress of having suffered an aggression or that this aggression is unusual, serious or it has had very serious consequences for the woman. It is very important that this psychological intervention is coordinated depending on each one of the situations, as in the medical assistance or police assistance, and this will allow us to generate the evidences or reports and documents we will later use to begin a work process. This is quite similar to what we would do in any other assistance process. In a psychological assistance process with such a seriousness and emotional damage, presence is especially important so the role you play when trying to calm down and to begin helping this woman with the process so that she can go on and assimilate what happened is really important. And it's also important doing this without judging, because probably there will be many aspects related to her story that will surprise us, that will confuse us, that won't have any sense, that will have gaps. And all this is related to the severe trauma which is not only caused by the unusual stress of the aggression but it is also a severe trauma which increases with a multiple severe trauma which goes along with the own emotional process of the mistreatment. This trauma has lowered the woman's general capacity to analyze the situation, to react in front of this situation, to do useful things, to protect their sons, so there is a negligence situation coming from her due to her capacities' decrease. So we could define this as, she lost control over this situation. So with your help what she can do is taking back this control to begin having her mind clear and being able to take decisions. It is especially important not judging during this process. Don't ask why did it happen, what was she doing there, why was she there, why has she been in this situation for such a long time, because not only it doesn't help, but also it can be an add to the guilt feeling she already has because of the situation. Many myths and even the victim's own psychological state makes us think we are in front of a weak person, a person with an important damage, depreciated because of the aggressor's mistreatment strategy, so emotional support is especially important. Emotional support helps empowering the woman so that she feels enough safety and tranquility to take measures in this situation. The objective is working from the positive aspects and the potential the woman has. It's still curious the fact that someone with apparently no resources has been able to survive to a maltreatment situation for such a long time, so more than in front of someone who doesn't have resources, we are in front of someone whose resources are being kidnapped or aren't working properly. It's especially important to work from the faith of being able to leave so that the woman can feel this strength and we can use all those resources and those positive aspects she already has to be able to face this situation. Probably the emergency situations in which you participate will be a trigger situation, which sometimes trigger because there has been an aggression stronger than usual, stronger than it usually happens in this situation or this time someone called the police and this might begin a process, when of course the woman hasn't died, which is a case in which unfortunately we can't do anything for her, but we can do things for the environment where she leaved and she left and where the assistance is also very important. But an interesting thinking aspect is that intervention and contention in emergency situations must be a linking point with the posterior therapy or the posterior work we must do with her. We said it before, the important thing is that the woman can feel this trust in your tools so that you can channel it towards something that can connect her because one of the really important things is that she is aware that this is part of a really long process and she needs to work to leave the violence situation she is living and that brought her to this situation. So we could summarize this by saying that working and the objective of the assistance of gender violence victims has two parts. One is the special attention towards the minors that are in the scenes and that need attention and an important work to prevent future psychological problems and on the other side participating as in other fields of the emergencies understanding the specificity of the emotional difficulty, as probably the woman will have problems because she has been maltreated for a long time and she has developed some kind of acquired vulnerability and on another side the maltreatment characteristics, as this maltreatment is produced in spaces that are important and trustworthy for women. I hope this will help you contextualizing the problem and I hope the interventions you make are effective at an affordable emotional cost for you. Thanks for accompanying us in the course, best wishes. Greetings.