Improving smear test accessibility for abuse victims.

Improving smear test accessibility for abuse victims.

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Tania Vine started this petition to NHS England and

*Trigger warning regarding abuse*

I feel the following changes need to be rolled out among the NHS and all local authorities.

As it stands there is no support for women who have been sexually abused in the past who need smear tests. There is a low take up for smear test appointments especially for younger women and I feel strongly that this is an area that would help many women who have been abused feel more at ease about getting checked.

As an abuse survivor myself I know that on the few occasions I have been for a smear test I have gone into the room, had flashbacks, panic attacks and cried in the room to a very unsuspecting nurse who has not been prepared that this could be a very difficult process to endure.

I want the NHS to change their booking system so that it be mandatory for all women to be asked upon booking a smear test, if this could be a triggering process. This could be done by the receptionist asking a simple question like ‘Could this be triggering?’ And then ticking a yes or no answer. If filling out forms in person, that there be an option for women to tick a box stating this.

This therefore would mean that the nurse is pre-warned that the lady coming into the appointment may need some extra time, reassurance, support and compassion. This would also ease the mind of the abuse victim, knowing in advance that the nurse she will see is aware of the situation, and that she will have extra time and support provided without having the humiliation of having to explain why she is finding the process hard in person.

The impact this one tick box question could have on the uptake of smear tests could be significant. It could significantly improve the impact of these appointments and help increase smear test appointment numbers - therefore having a knock on effect by catching abnormalities picked up at an earlier time and being more easily treated. Potentially saving lives.

Thank you for your your time reading this. I truly do value your support! I hope if this ever came into place that it would help support many women who have been victims to crime in the past.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 50,000!
At 50,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on Change.org!