Better Training To Identify And Support Family Violence Victims

The Andrews Labor Government is expanding training at Victorian public hospitals to help staff better identify and support patients experiencing family violence.

Acting Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Jenny Mikakos today officially opened the 2017 Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence forum and announced $10.2 million to train thousands more healthcare workers right across Victoria.

More than 3,000 hospital staff have already received training to identify and support victims of family violence.

The funding boost will expand that training to thousands more health workers at all 88 public health services across Victoria – giving hospitals the tools and skills to ensure family violence victims don’t fall through the gaps.

The Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence initiative teaches workers to see the warning signs, respond sensitively and respectfully, and connect victims to the services and the support they need, sooner.

Family violence is a serious health issue and is the leading cause of death, disability and illness in Victorian women aged between 15 and 44 years old.

The Labor Government is investing $38.4 million over four years to deliver the Royal Commission into Family Violence’s recommendations regarding family violence in public hospitals, as part of its record $1.9 billion investment in the Victorian Budget 2017/18.

At the forum, a new edition of the initiative’s toolkit for hospitals was also launched providing specialist advice on responding to family violence among the elderly, sexual assault survivors, children and rural patients.

The 2017 forum brings together 220 healthcare leaders and clinicians to learn, share and improve hospital responses to patients who are experiencing harm from family violence.

Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Jenny Mikakos

“Healthcare workers are often the first to see signs of violence, so it’s important that they have the tools to identify victims and connect them to the services and support they need.”

“Expanding this important initiative to every hospital will save lives by providing the support victims need, sooner.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Mental Health and Acting Minister for Health Martin Foley

“Our healthcare workers play a vital role in responding to family violence –that is why we are equipping thousands more with the skills to respond compassionately and respectfully.”