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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.

  • Grand Round: The ‘Wicked Problem’ of Family Violence

    about 1 year ago
    Grand round flyer 25 nov the %e2%80%98wicked problem%e2%80%99 of family violence lead image
    From 25 November through 10 December, Human Rights Day, the United Nations has declared 16 days of activism against gender-based violence with the aim to raise public awareness and mobilise people everywhere to bring about change.

    Family violence is a chronic social problem with serious impacts on mental and physical health for all members of the family, in particular women and children. It is a mostly hidden problem in health settings and currently the health system has not stepped up enough to the challenge of playing a role in prevention and response.

    This presentation will outline ways that Victorian health... Continue reading

    From 25 November through 10 December, Human Rights Day, the United Nations has declared 16 days of activism against gender-based violence with the aim to raise public awareness and mobilise people everywhere to bring about change.

    Family violence is a chronic social problem with serious impacts on mental and physical health for all members of the family, in particular women and children. It is a mostly hidden problem in health settings and currently the health system has not stepped up enough to the challenge of playing a role in prevention and response.

    This presentation will outline ways that Victorian health practitioners can identity and respond to family violence, supported by an improved health setting system to enable pathways to safety and healing. Drawing on current systematic reviews and World Health Organisation guidelines, this presentation will enable practitioners and managers to understand how health is key to addressing this 'wicked problem' in collaboration with community, police, justice, housing and other sectors.

    A Grand Round presentation in conjunction with the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, The Royal Melbourne Hospital and the University of Melbourne

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  • Grand Round: Violence against women & health system responses

    about 1 year ago
    Grand round flyer 4 nov 2016 claudia garcia moreno page 001   lead image 5

    (No RSVP required)

    At this special Grand Round:

    Heather Nancarrow, CEO of Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) will launch the report, Examination of the Burden of Disease of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in 2011.

    Dr Claudia Garcia-Moreno will deliver a 30-minute presentation on health system responses to violence against women.

    Professor Kelsey Hegarty, Chair of Family Violence Prevention will
    facilitate a discussion

    Professor Angela Taft from La Trobe University will make closing remarks.

    Claudia Garcia-Moreno is a Physician from Mexico with a Masters (MSc) in community medicine from the London School of Hygiene and... Continue reading

    (No RSVP required)

    At this special Grand Round:

    Heather Nancarrow, CEO of Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) will launch the report, Examination of the Burden of Disease of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in 2011.

    Dr Claudia Garcia-Moreno will deliver a 30-minute presentation on health system responses to violence against women.

    Professor Kelsey Hegarty, Chair of Family Violence Prevention will
    facilitate a discussion

    Professor Angela Taft from La Trobe University will make closing remarks.

    Claudia Garcia-Moreno is a Physician from Mexico with a Masters (MSc) in community medicine from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She has worked extensively in public health and global health policy, with a focus on women's health, including sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS. She is currently in the WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research where she leads their work on violence against women. Claudia co-ordinated the WHO Multi-Country Study on Women's Health and Domestic Violence, and the WHO global and regional estimates on violence against women. She is a founder and Chair of the Sexual Violence Research Initiative and is a member of the FIGO Working Group on Gender-based Violence.

    A Grand Round presentation in partnership with the University of Melbourne, La Trobe University and ANROWS - Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety.

    For more information see the event details here.


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  • Minister announces $1.2m for hospitals to respond to family violence

    over 1 year ago
    Minister hennessy 17 august 2016 shrfv announcement

    17 August 2016 - At today's launch of the Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence (SHRFV) tool kit and Stage Three of the project, Minister for Health, the Hon. Jill Hennessy announced a $1.2 million commitment to the initiative. The funding will support 14 health services to implement the SHRFV service model during 2016/17. The health services receiving funding are listed below along with the official media release from Minister Hennessy. Great news!

    Minister Hennessy's Media Release - More Support For Hospitals To Tackle Family Violence

    17th Aug 2016

    Hundreds of hospital staff will be trained to identify the signs... Continue reading

    17 August 2016 - At today's launch of the Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence (SHRFV) tool kit and Stage Three of the project, Minister for Health, the Hon. Jill Hennessy announced a $1.2 million commitment to the initiative. The funding will support 14 health services to implement the SHRFV service model during 2016/17. The health services receiving funding are listed below along with the official media release from Minister Hennessy. Great news!

    Minister Hennessy's Media Release - More Support For Hospitals To Tackle Family Violence

    17th Aug 2016

    Hundreds of hospital staff will be trained to identify the signs of family violence and help patients experiencing harm to seek support as part of a $1.2 million boost from the Andrews Labor Government.

    Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy, today announced that funding for the Strengthening Hospital Responses for Family Violence initiative would increase from $250,000 to more than $1.2 million this financial year.

    The initiative will provide training to help 14 Victorian health services to better support patients who have experienced family violence, nine of which are being funded for the first time and three to support regional health services in the Grampians, Loddon Mallee and Hume.

    Our new funding delivers on recommendation 95 from the Royal Commission into Family Violence that requires a ‘whole-of-hospital service model’ for responding to family violence in public hospitals within three to five years.

    It will train hundreds of health service staff, equipping them to notice the signs, inquire sensitively, respond respectfully and provide a pathway to specialist family violence support services. This will result in earlier identification and quicker referral to services.

    Three new training modules will also be developed focusing on elder abuse, sexual assault and rural and remote communities. Separate funding will also support a fourth module focusing on children.

    Family violence is a health issue, and has a profound impact on a person’s physical and mental wellbeing.

    The initiative, now in its third phase, recognises the vital role that health services play in recognising and responding to family violence.

    As part of the second phase, a free toolkit was developed by The Women’s Hospital and Bendigo Health, in partnership with Our Watch, to improve the response of health service staff to prevent, identify and respond compassionately to people experiencing family violence. A second edition of the toolkit is being launched today.

    It features resources such as training presentations, policies, procedures and guidelines that assist healthcare workers to identify and support people experiencing family violence, and refer them to the most appropriate services.

    Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

    “Healthcare workers have a real role to play in responding to family violence. For many people, their doctor is someone they respect and trust.”

    “Doctors and nurses may be the first person someone experiencing harm will speak to – or the first person to see the signs of violence.”

    Quotes attributable to Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing Martin Foley

    “We are working with our healthcare workers to ensure they have right skills to equip them to provide the best care and response to elderly Victorians who are experiencing family violence.”

    Health services to be funded as part of the SHRFV initiative in 2016/17:

    • Alfred Health
    • Melbourne Health
    • Austin Health
    • Monash Health
    • Ballarat Health
    • Northern Health
    • Bendigo Health
    • Peninsula Health
    • Eastern Health
    • Royal Women’s Hospital
    • East Wimmera Health Service
    • St Vincent’s Health
    • Goulburn Valley Health
    • Western Health


    The Royal Children’s Hospital is being funded via the Allied Health Workforce Grant Program 2015-16 and will also be involved in the SHRFV project.



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