187255 - Family abuse and violence: the role of general practice
Family abuse and violence (FAV) is a hidden reality for many men, women and children across Australia. In recent years, high-profile media coverage of FAV-related deaths has brought the seriousness of family abuse and violence in our community to the public consciousness. One in six Australian women are estimated to have experienced physical or sexual violence from a current or former partner since the age of 15, while one in five of all men and women in Australia have experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner.
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 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 attend most full time GPs each week, and yet they are typically not 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.
D1. Communication skills and the patient-doctor relationship
Effective communication is used in challenging situations
D2. Applied professional knowledge and skills
The conduct of the consultation is appropriate to the needs of the patient and the sociocultural context
D3. Population health and the context of general practice
The patterns and prevalence of disease are incorporated into screening and management practices
D4. Professional and ethical role
Duty of care is maintained
D5. Organisational and legal dimensions
Medico-legal requirements are integrated into accurate documentation
- Adult health
- Children and young people health
- Abuse and violence
- Psychological health
Australian Government, Department of Health