Date published: 
5 March 2019
Media type: 
Media release
General public

The Liberal National Government is boosting support for people affected by domestic violence with an additional $9.6 million investment to train 5,000 GPs across Australia to respond better to family violence and the expansion a successful program where health care professionals are trained to recognise and refer domestic violence.

Family, domestic and sexual violence are sadly a part of the lives of too many Australians.

After family and friends, it is GPs and other primary care providers who survivors of family and domestic violence turn to for support.

The quality of the response from the GP has been found to have a deep and profound impact on victims, influencing whether they seek help and support in the future.

Making sure women and children get the help and support they need in the right place, at the right time and in the right way, is a priority of the Australian Government.

Our Government is funding two programs to improve the capacity of Australia’s primary healthcare workforce to respond to family and domestic violence.

We will provide $7.5 million over three years to expand the successful Recognise, Respond and Refer Program, an initiative of the Brisbane South Primary Health Network (PHN) to a further four PHN regions.

The trial will:

  • Develop locally relevant care and referral pathways for people who are, or are at risk of, experiencing family violence.
  • Deliver whole of practice training to GP staff to recognise the signs of family violence.
  • Provide post-training support to practices to assist them to put in place training to identify and support victims of family violence.
  • Develop models to integrate primary health care into the domestic and family violence sector in the local region, including clear roles for GPs.

Our Government will also invest $2.1 million over three years to train the primary care workforce, including GPs, to better respond and support family violence victims.

  • The training will be for up to 5,000 general practitioners and primary care workers in metropolitan and rural and remote areas across Australia.
  • The training will be delivered by accredited training providers and will reflect evidence-based trauma-informed models of care and culturally appropriate care.

This measure also supports an update of the Royal College of General Practitioners Whitebook – Abuse and violence – Working with our patients in general practice.

The update of this key resource for GPs will ensure it continues to provide best practice advice on how to recognise and respond to people who experience family violence.

This important new investment of $9.6 million follows the Government’s announcement of additional initiatives to combat family and domestic violence in the $109 million Women’s Economic Security Statement.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit