Evaluation of family violence response program in Victoria

Tuesday, 02 July, 2019

Evaluation of family violence response program in Victoria

18 Victorian hospitals will be participating in a project evaluating the state-wide program, Strengthening Hospitals Response to Family Violence (SHRFV).

Led by the Royal Women’s Hospital and the University of Melbourne, the program will look at how hospitals support and respond when a patient or staff member discloses an experience of family violence.

The two-year project aims to find out what responses and supports work, in what contexts and when, to improve the hospital system so both patients and staff who disclose have a pathway to safety and wellbeing.

The health services participating in the project are:

  • The Women’s
  • The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
  • Ballarat Health Cluster: Ballarat Health Services, Ballan District Health and Care, Beaufort Skipton Health Service, East Grampians Health Service, Hepburn Health Service, Maryborough District Health Service, Stawell Regional Health
  • Western Health
  • Northern Health
  • Goulburn Valley Health
  • Peninsula Health
  • St Vincent’s Health
  • Bendigo Health
  • Barwon Health Cluster: Barwon Health, Hesse Rural Health and Colac Area Health.

These are among 88 hospitals and health services that are part of the Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence (SHRFV) program.

The robust evidence base that results from this project will help expand impact and application of the SHRFV program in Victoria and potentially beyond.

Professor Kelsey Hegarty is Joint Chair in Family Violence Prevention at the University of Melbourne and the Royal Women’s Hospital, and will lead the project.

“The health sector is a critical entry point for identifying and responding to people affected by family violence, providing care and offering appropriate pathways to support and assistance,” Prof Hegarty said.

“This project is a great opportunity for us to look at data related to early identification, response and referral of patients who experience family violence. And to investigate hospital systems and support structures for staff to carry out this sensitive work and for those who are also victims/survivors.

“This research will influence and create lasting social change in relation to how hospitals can best support patients and their children who experience family violence.”

The project is being funded by a $500,000 grant from The Collier Charitable fund. 

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Creativa Images

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