One in three nurses exposed to violence

Incidents on the rise as funds set aside for prevention are being cut

Over one third of nurses working in the public sector in Denmark have been exposed to violence or another form of threatening behaviour on the job over the past year, according to a study by the nurses organisation Dansk Sygeplejeråd (DSR).

“It is shocking and unacceptable that the number is still so high when there has been so much focus on the problem in recent years,” DSR vice president Dorte Steensberg told

Steensberg said that there has been an increase in the number of mentally ill patients who are also addicted to drugs, which has made them more aggressive.

One in five nurses report that they have experienced psychological repercussions from experiencing violence and 3 percent said that their post traumatic reactions were so bad that they were required to take sick leave.

Disappearing funds
Last February, the former government allocated 21 million kroner to be spent between 2015 and 2018 on the prevention of violence against hospital staff.

The first 12 million kroner has already been spent, but the rest will disappear in the 2016 budget proposed by the new government.

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Socialdemokraterne workplace spokesperson Lennart Damsbo-Andersen said that now is the wrong time for the government to be cutting funds for nurses.

“It is unacceptable,” he said. “When we know that violence can be prevented, it is foolish to cut the funds.”