Family Violence: Screening and Assessment


Family and domestic violence is a crime and an important issue for the general population, as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia. Aboriginal medical service staff in urban, regional and remote communities are often the first point of contact for survivors who are seeking help as a result of abuse or violence. It is responsibility of all practitioners, including aboriginal health workers, nurses and physicians to be prepared to respond to disclosures of family violence and support individuals as required.

The following module is designed to help prepare clinic staff for the screening and assessment of family violence. It does not discuss the reporting of particular acts or suspicions and participants should refer to the mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect module for information on this.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this module participants will be able to:

  • Define the special populations at risk of interpersonal abuse and family violence.
  • Identify the steps in screening for abuse and family violence.
  • Describe the nine steps to intervention in situations of violence (the 9Rs).
  • Understand why safety and risk assessments are valuable tools to help appropriately support survivors of abuse.
  • Understand the importance of documentation, as well as adhering to legal and professional obligations, while maintaining patient confidentiality in cases of abuse or violence.

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