Achievements - Centre for Family Violence Prevention
The Centre for Family Violence Prevention influences how screening and first-line response is undertaken across Victoria.
Our key projects in this area are TRANSFORM and SUSTAIN SUSTAIN. These projects aim to develop sustainable ways to identify and respond to women experiencing domestic violence during antenatal care to further inform the rollout of screening in antenatal care at the Women’s hospital. We have developed a Health System Implementation model as a framework for screening and response to domestic violence in antenatal care. The REAL Model (see below) outlines what factors encourages practitioners to sustain DV screening and response.
The TRANSFORM project aims to develop and test a trauma and violence-informed model of care to address domestic violence in various health settings including antenatal care, general practice and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. In this project we draw on existing literature and guidelines; and findings from interviews/discussion groups/surveys with victim-survivors and health practitioners to capture all the key viewpoints about a strengthened model to address domestic violence.
A model to effectively respond should operate on all levels of a healthcare setting, including environment, management and leadership, staff support, referral pathways, information sharing, protocols and policies, and community linkages.
In November 2022 we facilitated a workshop with clinicians at the Women’s to envision how we can strengthen family, domestic and sexual violence identification and response in the Women’s antenatal care. We are now working with clinicians to implement the priority areas for improvement that were identified by Women’s clinicians.
We have received government funding to embed and evaluate a specific digital package that will enable family violence screening to be completed with women in English and a range of non-English languages (using the digital screening platform iCOPE).
This will permit streamlined antenatal screening for family violence in multiple languages that is:
- aligned with the Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework (MARAM)
- acceptable to women
- practical for clinicians
It will ensure antenatal screening is tailored to the needs of women who do not speak English and is responsive to the emerging digital clinical environment.
The SUSTAIN Project has developed sustainable ways to identify and respond to women experiencing family, domestic and sexual violence during antenatal care.
SUSTAIN informed the roll out of screening in antenatal care at the Women’s hospital.
The Centre developed a Health System Implementation model as a framework for screening and response to family, domestic and sexual violence in antenatal care, particularly in regional and rural settings with low resources. This work was published by the Australian National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (who funded this research).
We are influencing policy and practice in Victorian family, domestic and sexual violence reforms.
Since 2014, the Victorian Government has funded the Royal Women's Hospital and Bendigo Health to lead the development and implementation of a framework to embed a whole-of-hospital approach to identify and respond to family, domestic and sexual violence.
The Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence program is now operationalised in 88 Victorian hospitals and health services, and successfully delivers on recommendation 95 of the Royal Commission into Family Violence.
More information: Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence program.
The Centre for Family Violence Prevention was successful in a Collier Charitable Fund $500,000 grant. The project started on 1 July 2019 and assessed the impact of the Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence program across eighteen metropolitan, regional and rural Victorian hospitals.
More information: SAFE project - Final Report, Executive Summary and Report Summary.
The special grant built a rigorous evidence base for what approaches are effective in enhancing identification and response to family, domestic and sexual violence within a health setting and supporting and responding to patients and hospital staff who disclose their experience of family, domestic and sexual violence.
We have been funded by the Victorian government to build on the work already undertaken and continue the SAFE Project at 20 new sites in 2023.
In building capacity and capability within Victorian hospitals and health services to strengthen responses to family, domestic and sexual violence, there is a need for:
- sustainable and evaluated Family Violence Clinical Champions (who support staff responding to family, domestic and sexual violence) and
- Family Violence Contact Officers (who support staff who have experienced family violence) programs.
The Women’s has received Government funding to lead an 18-month project to implement and evaluate, sustainable Family Violence Clinical Champion and Contact Officers programs at six public hospitals/health services.
This project will begin in 2023 and will be supported by expert input from the University of Melbourne.
Through this process a Clinical Champion and Contact Officer program framework/model will be developed.
In 2019-2020, the Women’s was funded for 12 months to design and deliver the Family Violence Workplace Support Program.
This program has trained well over 1,000 managers and practitioners across the state and supported 88 hospitals to respond to staff impacted by family, domestic and sexual violence.
This program developed specialist human resource and industrial relations practice tools that include:
- the development of policies, procedures and industrial instruments
- training for managers and family violence contact officers
- sector partnership development
- capacity building and secondary-consultation.
To download training materials or for more information: Family Violence Workplace Support Resources.