Healthcare professionals provide critical health services to our communities. However, while shouldering a heavy burden of responsibility during the COVID-19 pandemic, they have been reportedly abused and bullied by some members of the community for ‘spreading or disseminating the virus’ (Cant, 2020). The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 8–38% of healthcare workers have experienced physical violence at least once during their careers (International Labour Office et al., 2002).
QUT Centre for Justice member, Dr Michael Chataway has published a Briefing Paper applying a criminological lens to Occupational Violence Against Healthcare Professionals. Dr Chataway states that although it is common knowledge that occupational violence against healthcare workers is a worldwide problem, there is a lack of criminological research exploring how and why these offences occur and how this victimisation affects a worker’s wellbeing and perceptions of crime, in addition to the criminal justice system.
Dr Chataway explores what we know about the prevalence of occupational violence against healthcare workers and the risk factors associated with this type of violence within the healthcare sector. He concludes his paper by proposing two criminological lines of enquiry for understanding the situational characteristics of these cases of occupational violence and victims’ reactions and responses.
A link to the QUT Centre for Justice Briefing Paper Series can be found here.