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Domestic and family violence

Domestic and family violence is the use or threat of harm to control another person. In many cases, it can remain hidden as the person causing harm establishes control through fear and may use coercive behaviours such as intimidation and other forms of psychological abuse.

  • One in four women and one in thirteen men in Australia have experienced violence by an intimate partner.
  • In Australia, on average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner.
  • Almost ten women a day are hospitalised for assault injuries perpetrated by a spouse or domestic partner.
  • It has been estimated that full-time GPs are seeing up to five women per week who have experienced some form of intimate partner abuse – physical, emotional, sexual – in the past 12 months

In our Needs Assessment, integrated services to respond to domestic and family violence at a primary health care level were identified as a priority for our region and the Recognise, Respond, Refer program was developed in response.

Recognise, Respond, Refer program

Brisbane South PHN’s Recognise, Respond, Refer (RRR) program, is an integrated health response to domestic and family violence with strategies and initiatives specific to our local and regional needs as identified in our Needs Assessment and ongoing stakeholder engagement.

The RRR program aims to support primary health care professionals to improve overall system responsiveness to people experiencing domestic and family violence and ultimately improve outcomes for these individuals and their families. It seeks to achieve this through the implementation of an overarching system integration model that positions the primary health care network as part of the broader system response to domestic and family violence.

The integrated system model implemented through the RRR program was developed by Brisbane South PHN in partnership with The Australian Centre of Social Innovation through an evidence-based, human-centred design process. It comprises six influencing activities that support primary care to take up a defined role in the systemic response to domestic and family violence, as shown below. The model is designed to be place-based, so the practical implementation of each of the activities can be adapted to the specific conditions and needs of a local community.

A national trial of Brisbane South PHN’s Recognise, Respond, Refer program commenced in July 2020, with the program being tested in five PHN sites across Australia, including the Brisbane south region.

Further development work is currently underway to ensure the program can support primary care to best respond to domestic and family violence in the context of people’s specific culture, identity and experiences (e.g. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, multicultural and refugee background, LGBTIQ+, disability). This development work also includes ensuring the program supports primary care to safely and effectively work with perpetrators of domestic and family violence.

DFV Local Link

Brisbane South PHN has rolled out the Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) Local Link across the Brisbane south region to support general practices to respond to domestic and family violence. This service offers a single point of referral for patients affected by domestic and family violence, as well as advice and support to enable better identification and response to domestic and family violence in general practices. It is now available to all general practices in the Brisbane south region (Redlands, Logan, Beaudesert/Jimboomba, Brisbane South).

Domestic and family violence training for practices

Through the RRR Program, Brisbane South PHN delivers interactive, case-study based training to general practice staff that explores practical measures to support patients affected by domestic and family violence.

The RRR program is:

  • whole-of-organisation training that outlines the roles for each team member when responding to domestic and family violence
  • RACGP-accredited and has been developed by domestic and family violence specialists in collaboration with General Practitioners and survivors of domestic and family violence
  • delivered free-of-charge in general practices by domestic and family violence specialists.

The training is now available all general practices in Brisbane south region, (Logan, Redlands,Beaudesert/Jimboomba, Brisbane South). Contact your local trainer with the details below for more information or to book training for your practice.

Local Link Trainer (Logan, Beaudesert, Redlands)
Linda James
Mobile: 0490 163 644
Email: lindaj@centreforwomen.org.au

Primary Health DFV Education and Engagement Worker (Brisbane)
Joanna Klieve-Longman
Mobile: 0417 809 296
Email: joanna.klieve-longman@micahprojects.org.au

Community of Practice – Support for general practitioners

Brisbane South PHN, as part of the implementation of Recognise, Respond, Refer (RRR), have established a Community of Practice for General Practitioners (GPs) who do the pivotal work of recognising and responding to domestic and family violence (DFV) in the Brisbane south region. The Community of Practice aims to bring GPs with an interest in responding to DFV together to support one another, facilitate case discussions, and learn more about the DFV supports available for their patients. The Community of Practice sessions are facilitated by the RRR GP Clinical Advisor. To register to attend a Community of Practice event, please click the link to the Brisbane South PHN Education Calendar.

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