GPs in ‘unique position’ to help domestic violence victims
On International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, GPs are being reminded of their unique position at being one of the first people a victim may turn to.
RACGP President Dr Frank R Jones said GPs need to understand the nature of violence and abuse to help break the cycle.
“This includes identifying predisposing risk factors, understanding early signs and symptoms and managing the devastating consequences of family violence.”
The RACGP is one of a group of Australia’s peak medical bodies that have joined forces to help end domestic violence.
22 Colleges and peak health bodies issued a joint statement saying they will be wearing white ribbons in their workplaces and they will ‘indicate their willingness and availability to discuss this sensitive and difficult issue, should they be experiencing violence in their lives.’
Domestic violence tools
- The RACGP’s white book Abuse and violence: working with our patients in general practice gives doctors evidence-based guideline on identifying domestic violence and how to respond. This edition also offers new insights into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as well as migrant, refugee and rural communities.
- The National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service 1800RESPECT last week launched a new toolkit to help GPs better recognise the signs of assault and empower them to respond. Visit 1800RESPECT to order your kit.
- The AMA/Law Council of Australia document Supporting Patients Experiencing Family Violence kit contains information about specialist support services, including health, mental health, drug and alcohol, legal, family support and child protection services.
- Victim support services and further reading on the AMA website.