Health Staff Perceptions of Hate Violence in Spain

The aim of this study of Spanish health personnel is to determine their level of knowledge
about hate violence and their relevance in detecting victims of hate violence and clarifying the magnitude
of the phenomenon. An exploratory study with a descriptive, observational, and cross-sectional
design was conducted, with incidental non-probabilistic sampling and an ad hoc questionnaire to
health professionals in three Autonomous Communities of Spain. Our results indicate a general
lack of knowledge about hate violence by health staff who acknowledged that they do not have
specific training for hate violence victims’ care, although most staff had attended to some cases
of hate violence in the last year. No significant differences were found among healthcare services,
professionals, training, or Autonomous Communities, which indicated a generalized lack of training
and specific tools that was common in the different health services and in different Autonomous
Communities in Spain. The health services that reported most cases of hate violence ex officio were
those in which the professionals had more training and knowledge and in which there were specific
protocols on hate violence. In conclusion, the health system constitutes “the gateway” to the care,
promotion, and prevention of hate violence victims. However, political actions are necessary to
avoid the lack of knowledge and lack of training and professional tools that are widespread among
healthcare staff. Therefore, the training of professionals and the establishment of specific protocols
for action against hate violence would improve the care and long-term monitoring of victims, and
the implementation of an epidemiological registry and surveillance system of hate violence would
improve the care and prevention of hate violence in Spain.

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