Welcome to the Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence project

Family violence is patterned, repeated behaviour intended to assert power and control over the victim. Research shows that family violence is a deeply gendered issue that affects people across the life span - disproportionately women and their children. Family violence is a serious health issue that has a profound impact on the psychological and physical well-being of those affected.


The health sector is a critical entry point for identifying people affected by family violence, providing medical care and a pathway to specialist support and assistance. Indeed, for many people, a visit to a health professional is the first, and sometimes only, step enabling them to access support and care. Therefore, strengthening the capacity of health care professionals to identify and support people across the life span is crucial to the prevention of and response to family violence.


In 2014 and 2015 the Victorian Government funded the Royal Women's Hospital (the Women's) and Bendigo Health to develop and implement a framework for embedding the practice of identifying and responding to family violence experienced by patients. The Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence (SHRFV) model was developed to provide a system-wide approach which is now being applied by hospitals across Victoria. Based on international best practice, the model has two overarching principles and five key implementation elements for a staged approach that is applicable to any Victorian health setting committed to improving its response to family violence.



About the SHRFV Resources
Based on the experience at the Women’s and Bendigo Health, a range of resources and tools have been developed to support Victorian public hospitals to implement the SHRFV model.


The SHRFV Project Overview
The project overview provides a summary of the SHRFV model for hospital executives, senior management or any interested member of the community wanting to learn more about the SHRFV project.


The SHRFV Project Management Guide
This guide comprehensively outlines the service model and includes project actions to support each element of the model. It is not prescriptive and can be adapted to suit any particular environment. If you have been employed as a Family Violence Project Manager and/or tasked with improving your hospital's family violence response, you should begin by reading this guide.


The SHRFV Project Tools
These Tools are designed to support SHRFV project implementation as suggested in the Project Management Guide.


The SHRFV Training Materials
The training materials include a Training Manual for facilitators tasked with building the awareness, capacity and capability of hospital staff. The materials provided include training modules with facilitator notes, training feedback forms, handouts and Train the Trainer recordings.


The SHRFV Project Communication Materials
These materials have been developed following extensive consultation with leading family violence experts and women who have experienced family violence. They include posters to promote the hospital as a safe place for women to discuss family violence, posters for staff to prompt them to ask about family violence, and other resources such as palm cards and buttons. Hospitals can add their corporate logos to the materials. These materials should only be displayed once the SHRFV training has been delivered.


If you have any questions about the service model or toolkit, you can contact the SHRFV Project team, Michelle, Jenny, Ange or Sharan directly. Or if you have a question that might be of relevance to the broader audience please use the Q and A button below.


This website has been created and is managed by the Women’s to share the resources developed as part of the SHRFV project with other health services. We hope that it becomes a place of knowledge sharing, discussion and collaboration for health services as we all work to strengthen and improve our responses to family violence. We appreciate any feedback you have. We also encourage you to register so we can keep you informed about any project updates.

Family violence is patterned, repeated behaviour intended to assert power and control over the victim. Research shows that family violence is a deeply gendered issue that affects people across the life span - disproportionately women and their children. Family violence is a serious health issue that has a profound impact on the psychological and physical well-being of those affected.


The health sector is a critical entry point for identifying people affected by family violence, providing medical care and a pathway to specialist support and assistance. Indeed, for many people, a visit to a health professional is the first, and sometimes only, step enabling them to access support and care. Therefore, strengthening the capacity of health care professionals to identify and support people across the life span is crucial to the prevention of and response to family violence.


In 2014 and 2015 the Victorian Government funded the Royal Women's Hospital (the Women's) and Bendigo Health to develop and implement a framework for embedding the practice of identifying and responding to family violence experienced by patients. The Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence (SHRFV) model was developed to provide a system-wide approach which is now being applied by hospitals across Victoria. Based on international best practice, the model has two overarching principles and five key implementation elements for a staged approach that is applicable to any Victorian health setting committed to improving its response to family violence.



About the SHRFV Resources
Based on the experience at the Women’s and Bendigo Health, a range of resources and tools have been developed to support Victorian public hospitals to implement the SHRFV model.


The SHRFV Project Overview
The project overview provides a summary of the SHRFV model for hospital executives, senior management or any interested member of the community wanting to learn more about the SHRFV project.


The SHRFV Project Management Guide
This guide comprehensively outlines the service model and includes project actions to support each element of the model. It is not prescriptive and can be adapted to suit any particular environment. If you have been employed as a Family Violence Project Manager and/or tasked with improving your hospital's family violence response, you should begin by reading this guide.


The SHRFV Project Tools
These Tools are designed to support SHRFV project implementation as suggested in the Project Management Guide.


The SHRFV Training Materials
The training materials include a Training Manual for facilitators tasked with building the awareness, capacity and capability of hospital staff. The materials provided include training modules with facilitator notes, training feedback forms, handouts and Train the Trainer recordings.


The SHRFV Project Communication Materials
These materials have been developed following extensive consultation with leading family violence experts and women who have experienced family violence. They include posters to promote the hospital as a safe place for women to discuss family violence, posters for staff to prompt them to ask about family violence, and other resources such as palm cards and buttons. Hospitals can add their corporate logos to the materials. These materials should only be displayed once the SHRFV training has been delivered.


If you have any questions about the service model or toolkit, you can contact the SHRFV Project team, Michelle, Jenny, Ange or Sharan directly. Or if you have a question that might be of relevance to the broader audience please use the Q and A button below.


This website has been created and is managed by the Women’s to share the resources developed as part of the SHRFV project with other health services. We hope that it becomes a place of knowledge sharing, discussion and collaboration for health services as we all work to strengthen and improve our responses to family violence. We appreciate any feedback you have. We also encourage you to register so we can keep you informed about any project updates.

Do you have a question you would like to ask about the SHRFV project?  

Ask it here, we encourage you to share any questions you may have here, as it maybe something that another team are wondering at a different health service. 

All general questions will be answered publicly via the SHRFV team.

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  • Hi All. I wondered whether the Project Workers across health services have any positive or negative examples they could share of the impact of having FV included as an alert in their patient database/s? Or the impact of NOT having it as an alert? (impact on patients and/or staff) Many thanks. Kellie - Alfred Health

    Kellie Muir asked 8 months ago

    If anyone has a story they can share Kellie has asked that you email her directly at K.Muir@alfred.org.au . Kellie will also de-identify any info provided. Regards, Tania

  • This is the best resource kit ever! Thanks so much for all the work you have all undertaken to develop and share this. NT Health are well on their way to strengthen our response to domestic and family violence.

    Chris Power asked 10 months ago

    Thanks for the lovely feedback NT Health

  • I am curious about your choice of the blue bird for your training materials.

    Isabel Munoz asked 12 months ago

    In developing our posters we asked three different graphic designers to develop four different creative concepts. We were looking for concepts that portrayed a positive and aspirational image. We then distributed the concepts by electronic survey across the sector. We had 169 responses from a range of providers including health services, community services, and family violence specialist services. We also heard from a number of people who had experienced family violence themselves, or they were the families and friends of someone that had experienced violence. We were guided by this feedback and in response chose the concept featuring the blue birds. We hope you like them as much as we do!

  • Do you have surveys that can be given to staff around their knowledge on family violence?

    nicole.romero asked about 1 year ago

    Conducting a staff survey prior to rolling out the SHRFV training and then following the implementation of the SHRFV model is a great way to gather data to assess the effectiveness of the project. In response to your query I have now uploaded a new tool - see Tool 6D - which is a sample survey that we have used at the Women's. Thanks for your question! Tania

  • What if I have a question that I don't want to ask publicly?

    Angela Crombie asked about 1 year ago

    Great question! When you ask a question only we (Michelle and Tania) will see it as the site administrators - and we can then choose to respond privately or publicly. I'm responding to this question publicly so that everyone can see the communication.

    Our intention with this platform is to provide an open forum for sharing information. If you have a private question you may wish to email Michelle or I directly.

    Cheers, Tania