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Structural violence in long-term residential care
York University, Canada.
Carleton University, Canada.
York University.
York University, Canada.
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2011 (English)In: Women’s health and urban life, ISSN 1499-0369, Vol. 10, no 1, 111-129 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Drawing on survey responses from 948 personal support workers providing care in long-term residential facilities in three Canadian provinces, and from 1574 responses to a comparable survey in four Nordic European countries, we document the levels of violence found particularly inCanada. Almost half of the Canadian workers, about 95 % of whom are women, experience violence on a daily or almost daily basis. This is over six times the rate experienced among similar workers in the Nordic countries. Canadian participants reported constant and ongoing physical, verbal and sexual violence. These workers are usually expected to tolerate this abuse as part of the job. Moreover, as is often the case with women’s working conditions, it is underreported, invisible and seldom addressed. The comparison with Nordic Europe demonstrates that the violence is not inevitable. We discuss several of its sources, and avenues of recourse identified through gender-based analysis of the Canadian and Nordic data and follow-up interviews. Insufficient staffing levels constitute a primary cause that prevents over-burdened workers from providing adequate care.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 10, no 1, 111-129 p.
Keyword [en]
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-60130OAI: diva2:433372
Available from: 2011-08-23 Created: 2011-08-09 Last updated: 2011-08-23Bibliographically approved

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