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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.