Today is White Ribbon Day, a national violence prevention campaign and is part of the largest global movement to stop violence against women and children.
Unfortunately family violence is far too prevalent within the Australian community. It is important to note that, according to Australian statistics, one in three women and one in four children will experience family violence, but also one in five men will also become victims of family violence.
These victims and numerous perpetrators are presenting to their General Practices, Health Provider Specialists, Community, Support and Social groups with a variety of issues including mental anguish, broken bones, bruises and many other physical and emotional scars.
Rosie Batty, Australian of the Year 2015, is a prominent family violence campaigner who rose above personal tragedy and the loss of her 11 year old son Luke, who was a victim of domestic violence at the hands of his father in an extremely public attack. Earlier this year we had the honour of hosting Rosie Batty as one of our keynote speakers at the 2016 AGPAL and QIP Conference.
Rosie shared with our audience that although AGPAL and QIP accredited organisations and their staff may not feel appropriately qualified to deal with cases of family violence, there are steps that can be taken to provide greater support to these victims when these abusive and complex situations present themselves.
Some of these recommended some steps that health care providers can take to personally and professionally understand and support victims, and perpetrators of family violence include:
- Understand that you are not an expert, your role is to support, not resolve.
- Be confident in your ability to refer patients, friends, clients, colleagues, staff and family members to a referred specialist service.
- Be cautious that victims may have had to relocate and displaying photographs may put someone’s safety in jeopardy.
What can you do?
- 1800 RESPECT is a national specialist referral phone service (1800respect.com.au) or
- Engage your team in specialist domestic violence response training through DV Alert (dvalert.org.au)
Stand with Rosie Batty beside every victim on family violence and support her Never Alone Campaign (www.neveralone.com.au)
Stand Up, Speak Out and Act #whiteribbonday