Family violence is a serious health issue.
In Victoria, intimate partner violence is the greatest contributor to illness, premature death and disability for women in their reproductive years (15 – 44 years). It is the greatest preventable contributor to the burden of disease than any other risk factor; including smoking, alcohol and obesity.
Health services play an important role in the health and safety of our community. The health system is an early contact point for many people who have or are experiencing family violence. Health professionals are in a unique position to identify indicators of family violence, have conversations with our patients, clients or residents and provide support.
What is family violence?
Family violence is any threatening, coercive, dominating or abusive behaviour that occurs between people in a family, domestic or intimate relationship, or former intimate relationship, that causes the person experiencing the behaviour to feel fear. Family Violence also includes behaviours that cause a child to witness or hear or otherwise be exposed to the effects of family violence.
Family violence is not an argument once in a while, it is a continuous pattern of abusive behaviour perpetrated by one person towards another, often using multiple tactics.
Family violence is not just physical or sexual abuse. It can include many types of abuse all of which are unhealthy and harmful.
What we will do
Alpine Health recognises that:
- Family violence violates human rights
- Family violence is not acceptable in any community or culture
- Anyone can be a victim or perpetrator of family violence, but family violence is predominantly committed by men against women, children, and other vulnerable persons
- Family violence can impact on children’s physical, psychological and emotional wellbeing
From 1st October, 2018 health professionals and carers at Alpine Health will commence screening for Family Violence. This includes residents, clients and patients at intake, admission and during consultations. Alpine Health staff will routinely ask about how safe people feel at home because it is important to their health.
Family violence is a complex issue and occurs throughout the lifespan. Whilst our staff are not family violence experts, our health professionals are able to recognise the signs and risks, respond sensitively and confidently use the appropriate referral pathways.
How to get help
During COVID19, all family violence support services are available via a phone call and the police response is ‘business as usual’. Please seek help if needed.
If it is an Emergency please contact Police - 000
Local Services – North East Region