Medical certificates, like injury reports and forms for work incapacity, are documents drafted by doctors to provide official proof, necessary for victims who want to file official complaints. Despite their crucial importance in the procedure, the use of these certificates is surrounded by ambiguity. Based on qualitative research among public prosecutors, victims and GPs, this paper identifies important problems that complicate the use and value of medical certificates. This involves the emphasis on physical injuries, while the effects of psychological violence remain unrecognized. Moreover, the procedure suffers from lack of uniformity in documenting injuries. Further, GPs may feel reluctant when they feel they become instrumentalised in divorce conflicts. The ambiguity shown in our data reveals how victims of abuse are unequally scrutinized. This seminar will provides a critical analysis of the use of medical certificates in the prosecution of Intimate Partner Violence.
Biography Eva Vergaert
Eva Vergaert works at RHEA, Centre of Expertise on Gender, Diversity and Intersectionality.
Eva does research on intersectionality, gender-based violence and public policy. She is currently working on the project 'Intimate Partner Violence: impact, processes, evolution and related public policies in Belgium (Brain-Be: IPV-PRO&POL)'. Her PhD focuses on the role of general practitioners and the ethical challenges they face in dealing with partner violence.
Practical info: The RHEA research seminar will take place on campus Etterbeek, Pleinlaan 5, room 4.21 (Raadzaal) on 8 November 2021, 13h00-14h30. The event is free of charge, but registration is mandatory.