Domestic and family violence

Anyone in immediate danger should call the police on Triple Zero (000)

Domestic and family violence is a complex issue that can take many forms. It involves violence, abusive or intimidating behaviour carried out by a partner, carer or family member to control or dominate a person, causing them to fear for their own (or someone else's) safety. It can include physical, psychological, financial or sexual abuse and/or other controlling behaviours. It is often the reason people seek assistance from a health service.

Domestic violence can affect anyone in the community and occurs in all types of intimate partnerships regardless of class, culture, sexuality, economic status or gender.

GPs and other primary health care providers play a key role in identifying, intervening and treating patients who are at risk of or affected by domestic violence. Studies indicate that women were two times more likely to disclose domestic violence if asked by their GP. Despite the influence GP inquiry into abuse has on disclosure rates, few women are asked by their GP. In order to respond effectively and appropriately to patients experiencing domestic violence, GPs need to have the knowledge and skills to facilitate disclosure and provide evidence-based support to minimise long term physical and mental health consequences

Within CESPHN region there were almost 5,000 recorded domestic violence related assault incidents (2017-2018). The highest recorded LGA regions were Sydney, Bayside and Strathfield.

To build capacity, improve confidence and support primary health care professionals to identify and respond to the needs of people experiencing domestic or family violence. To improve awareness and knowledge of appropriate referral pathways and available support services.

This will be achieved through continued partnerships with key stakeholders and workforce education and training

For relevant clinical information, please view Sydney Healthpathways and South East Sydney Healthpathways 

Resources for health professionals

It's time to talk - D&FV Tool kit for GPs - Resource to assist GPs with identifying and responding to women and children who have experienced or are experiencing family violence. The toolkit contains guidelines for patient care, as well as some legal information relevant to your role as a GP.

RACGP : White Book Abuse and violence- Working with our paients in general practice 

Australian Medical Association (AMA)  Supporting Patients Experiencing Family Violence  Resource developed by AMA /Law Council of Australia for medical practitioners describing how to identify and respond to pattients who have exoerienced or experiening family violence.

Family referral service - Providing assistance with support services and community resources for young people and families regarding domestic violence experiences, housing or accommodation access, financial assistance, mental health concerns and finding culturally appropriate support. ph.1800 066 757

Child Wellbeing Unit (CWU) - Helps identify the level of suspected risk or a child or young person, and determines if a report should be submitted to the Family and Community Services (FACS) Child Protection Helpline. ph. 1300 480 420

Financial Abuse Legal Service - Free confidential legal information and advice to people who have money problems due to domestic abuse in an intimate partner relationship

Family Violence Law Help -  National website for people wanting to understand domestic and family violence , the law and where to get help. Includes information about D&FV, family law, child protection law, ADVOs , where to get help

NSW Fair TradingTenacy Laws - Medical Practitioner Declaration - Medical Practitioners can assist patients to escape a domestic violence situation in a rented home by making a domestic violence declaration. This allows patient/tenant to end their tenancy immediately without penalty. Click here for Medical Practitioner Declaration Form 

Women NSW - It Stops Here: Standing together to end Domestic and Family Violence - NSW Government's Domestic and Family Violence Framework for Reform

Domestic Violence Safety Assessment Tool (DVSAT) - tool designed to assist service providers to identify the level of threat to domestic violence victims.  Domestic Violence Stafety Assessment : Guide for assesment tool use 

pdf GP Information Sheet - Safer Pathway (231 KB)  - overview of GP role in referring to Safer Pathway. Click here for Safer Pathway Referral Form