Family Violence Toolkit
AMA New South Wales (AMANSW) and Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty, have launched a program to encourage those suffering domestic violence to speak with their doctor, and a new toolkit is now available to help GPs support patients experiencing family violence.
AMA President, Professor Brian Owler, urged for a particular focus on the devastating effect on children, saying that children were often the forgotten victims of domestic violence, and their injuries can last a lifetime. Ms Batty told doctors that “one in three of your female patients, and one in four children, will be affected by violence”.
As part of the Share Your Story campaign, the AMANSW is promoting a new video that encourages victims to speak to their doctor if they are suffering abuse.
Women experiencing domestic violence will disclose their situation to GPs more often than to almost any other professional group. When a patient discloses family violence, it's essential a doctor be able to respond effectively by asking the right questions, using appropriate language, and having good networks with local family violence services.
The AMA, in collaboration with the Law Council of Australia, has created a useful resource Supporting Patients Experiencing Family Violence, which is a toolkit to assist doctors to provide better support for victims of family violence.