Hospital response to family violence program secures funds

The Women's Parkville campus
11 July 2022 | Family violence

The innovative ‘Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence’ (SHRFV) program has been extended at the Royal Women’s Hospital, thanks to new state government funds.

An initiative designed to improve communication and disclosure of family violence in hospitals will continue though to mid 2023, thanks to a $400,000 boost.

The Women’s will continue to lead the state government’s ‘Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence’ (SHRFV) program, alongside Bendigo Health. This is now in place at 89 Victorian public hospitals.

The SHRFV extension will enable more staff to identify the signs of family violence and assist patient-survivors in getting the support they need.

The Women’s Director of Social Model of Health, Clare Manning, said the Women’s is proud to be leader in this space, with the additional funds coming at a critical time.

“We know that family violence is a deeply gendered issue that disproportionately affects women and their children,” Ms Manning said.

“Support for the Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence program is very important, especially as the pandemic saw a significant increase in demand for our crisis services at the Women’s.”

In addition to improving communication between patients and staff, the SHRFV initiative has helped to identify systems and support structures for staff who may be victim-survivors themselves.

“It is critical that public health services like the Women’s can identify and respond to people affected by family violence, whether it be a patient or a member of our own team,” Ms Manning said.

“We are able to offer victim-survivors sensitive, appropriate care and links with other support pathways during a very difficult time in their lives.”

The 2015 Royal Commission into Family Violence has been a key driver in programs like Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence, which was formed in response to recommendation number 95.

This section suggested the implementation of a whole-of-hospital model for responding to family violence, with 227 recommendations in total.

Additional information

  • The Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence (SHRFV) initiative is co-lead by the Women’s and Bendigo Health, with both sites providing sector leadership.
  • Read more at our SHRFV Resource Centre or by calling (03) 8345 2804.
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