SHRFV Resource Centre

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Welcome to the Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence Resource Centre

Family violence is patterned, repeated behaviour intended to assert power and control over the victim. Research shows that family violence is a deeply gendered issue that affects people across the life span - disproportionately women and their children. Family violence is a serious health issue that has a profound impact on the psychological and physical well-being of those affected.

The health sector is a critical entry point for identifying people affected by family violence, providing medical care and a pathway to specialist support and assistance. Indeed, for many people, a visit to a health professional is the first, and sometimes only, step enabling them to access support and care. Therefore, strengthening the capacity of health care professionals to identify and support people across the life span is crucial to the prevention of and response to family violence.

SHRFV Resource Centre

In 2014 and 2015 the Victorian Government funded the Royal Women's Hospital (the Women's) and Bendigo Health to develop and implement a framework for embedding the practice of identifying and responding to family violence experienced by patients. The Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence (SHRFV) model was developed to provide a system-wide approach which is now being applied by hospitals across Victoria. A range of evidence-informed resources and tools have also been developed to support Victorian public hospitals to implement the SHRFV model.

The critical importance of this work is in response to recommendation 95 of the Royal Commission into Family Violence (The Commission) which called for a whole-of-hospital approach when responding to family violence drawing on evaluated approaches.

Subsequent editions of the SHRFV Toolkit have been developed based on feedback and input received from participating hospitals and other organisations.

In response to recommendation 1 of The Commission the Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework (MARAM) was established in law under a new Part 11 of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008. The MARAM Framework is best practice for family violence risk assessment and management, based on current evidence and research. It aims to establish a system-wide shared understanding of family violence and collective responsibility for risk assessment and management. The first phase of organisations became prescribed in September 2018, including state funded Sexual Assault Services, Alcohol and Other Drug Services and designated Mental Health Services. Additional organisations will become prescribed in the first half of 2021, including hospitals (subject to ministerial approval). 

The 5th Edition of the SHRFV Toolkit is designed to enhance work underway as part of SHRFV and focus on supporting hospitals and health services to align to the MARAM Framework.

About the SHRFV Resources

Based on the experience of implementing the SHRFV model across Victorian hospitals, a range of evidence-informed resources and tools have been developed to support Victorian public hospitals to implement the SHRFV model. This 5th edition of the SHRFV Tool Kit also includes specialist content and resources that are aligned to the Victorian Governments Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management (MARAM) Framework.

If you have any questions about the SHRFV Approach or the SHRFV Toolkit, please can contact the SHRFV Project team directly. Or if you have a question that might be of relevance to the broader audience please utilise the relevant Community of Practice on Basecamp.