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About the initiative
This initiative is part of a range of measures under the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022–2032.
- 6 Primary Health Networks (PHNs) to run a pilot to support primary care services to recognise and respond to family and domestic violence. We also provided funding to evaluate the pilot.
- the University of Melbourne – Safer Families Consortium to prepare and present a national training program – the Readiness Program. The program aims to help primary health care providers better recognise and respond to those experiencing family and domestic violence.
- a review and update of Abuse and Violence – Working with our patients in general practice (the White Book). The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) maintains this resource.
Why it is important
Violence against women and children is a serious problem in Australia.
Primary care is often the first point of contact for victim-survivors of family and domestic violence. It is important for primary care workers to be trained in how to better recognise and respond to family and domestic violence so victim-survivors get the help they need.
The initiative aims to build the capability of primary care to identify, respond and refer victim-survivors of family and domestic violence.
Meeting our goals
- provide training and resources to help primary care practices better respond to family and domestic violence
- help local health and service provider networks to integrate with existing services to better coordinate services and improve the quality of support
- work with primary care to meet the needs of communities including victim-survivors
- provide clear referral pathways to other services like family and domestic support services.
Who we work with
The 6 PHNs we funded to run a family and domestic violence pilot are:
- Brisbane South PHN
- Central and Eastern Sydney PHN
- Hunter New England and Central Coast PHN
- Nepean Blue Mountains PHN
- North Western Melbourne PHN
- Western Victoria PHN.
We fund the University of Melbourne and the RACGP to provide training to primary care providers. We have also funded them to update family and domestic violence resources to be used by primary care providers.
The pilot ran from 2019 to 2022 and supported primary care services to better recognise and respond to family and domestic violence. The Sax Institute evaluated the pilot and produced a final report on its findings. As part of the 2022–23 budget the Australian Government funded the extension and expansion of the pilot.
The Readiness Program is delivering training primary health care providers to better recognise and respond to those experiencing family and domestic violence until June 2024.
Read the Sax Institute’s final evaluation report.