116576 - Family abuse and violence (Activity 1): the role of general practice
- : Online
Family abuse and violence is a hidden reality for many men, women and children across Australia. It is a substantial public health problem with major physical and psychological health consequences for victims.
One in four Australian women are estimated to have experienced physical or sexual violence and/or emotional abuse from a current or former partner since the age of 15, and 1 in 10 have experienced sexual violence by an intimate partner
Although more Australians are now aware of the many different forms violence against women can take, as a nation, Australians are still less inclined to see non-physical forms of control, intimidation and harassment as serious.
This activity is the first in a series of four online activities (and other RACGP initiatives) which focus on addressing this public health issue at a general practice level, by improving your knowledge, skills and confidence in detecting and responding to incidences of family violence and abuse.
It is estimated that that up to five women who have experienced abuse per week attend most full-time GPs and yet they are not typically identified by those GPs.
General practice is a crucial setting for early intervention in family abuse and violence, particularly because general practitioners (GPs) are often the only health professionals seeing perpetrators, survivors and children experiencing abuse. This is a sentiment echoed by the Coroners Court who recommend GPs undergo further training in identifying, responding to and following up of persons experiencing abuse and violence.
GPs have a role in prevention, early identification, responding to disclosures and careful reporting of incidences, and follow-up and support of patients and their children experiencing the health effects of FAV.