Research shows that many women attending hospital experience abuse and violence at home or elsewhere and feel afraid of their partners or family.
In many cases, an interaction with a health professional can be the first time a woman has the opportunity to disclose her experiences to another person. Doctors, nurses and other health professionals play a vital role as first-line responders, as does the whole health system, which needs to provide the environment and structures to support both health professionals and women.
The Women’s Family Violence Prevention Centre plays a critical role in leading research in this area and developing and promoting the evidence base to help guide healthcare providers locally and internationally in how best to respond to and prevent family violence.
The Family Violence Prevention Centre:
- works with women with lived experience and practitioners to research health interventions (including use of technologies) for identification, early intervention and responses for women of all ages and backgrounds
- promotes family violence workplace support programs that focus on the mental, physical and emotional health of healthcare professionals
- develops and evaluates effective, evidence-based systems and models of care to support women experiencing or at-risk of family violence
- builds research capacity in the area of family violence across the Womens’ by offering funding to clinicians who want to enhance their research skills
- collaborates with family violence survivors, practitioners, other research centres in the hospital, community groups and governments to provide evidence that informs policy and practice (see link to Safer Families CRE).
The Centre is a hub for the development of identification tools and therapeutic responses to assist women when family violence is occurring. It uses innovative responses such as new technologies, and works with women, children and fathers to promote improved access to support and prevention programs.
There is a focus on the evaluation of educational and health system interventions in complex hospital settings and workplace interventions that support hospital staff to undertake this challenging work.
Overall, the Centre aims to improve pathways to safety and wellbeing for those affected by family violence by providing evidence for new models of care for women and families within a whole-of-health system response.