Unified response to family violence

Global researchers, educators, and health service providers are set to gather in Melbourne to highlight the need for a coordinated response to violence against women.

The Nursing Network on Violence Against Women International (NNVAWI) in partnership with La Trobe University will present the 21st NNVAWI Conference for the first time in Melbourne this Wednesday 26th October.

Lead organiser Professor Angela Taft from La Trobe University said Victoria’s health professionals are in a unique position to assess and intervene in domestic violence.

“Health workers are often the first professionals to be made aware of violence and abuse within families; they’re able to recognise tell-tale signs and at times they’re the ones vulnerable victims choose to confide in,” Professor Taft said.

“As a family violence researcher I hear too often of stories from doctors, nurses and midwives who feel overwhelmed by the level of responsibility to tackle these tough issues. Without the correct training and a health system to support them, so many opportunities to intervene can slip by.”

With the Victorian Government’s firm commitment to address family violence, Professor Taft said there’s never been a better opportunity to strengthen the health sector’s response to family violence.

“The Royal Commission into Family Violence identified the lack of cohesion and integration in the overall family violence response system, including in the way health professionals respond to family violence, and progress is being made – but there is much more to do,” Professor Taft said.

“What we’re missing is that critical link between our health care workers and the services that can help those experiencing domestic violence. A nurse, for example, wanting to support a young mother experiencing abuse, needs to know who and how to refer them on, for specialist help.”

The conference will bring together global researchers, educators, health, and social service providers to generate ideas to better prevent and reduce the impacts of family violence.

“This conference will hear from a raft of different voices – but they are all bidding for the same thing; a systematic response to family violence across the health care system,” Professor Taft said.

“It’s an opportunity to see how leading thinkers are dealing with this serious social challenge in different countries and how we can best achieve a coordinated response in Australia.”

Five international leaders will address the conference, including:

  • Family violence campaigner and former Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty
  • Head of the World Health Organization’s work on violence against women, Claudia Garcia-Moreno
  • Global leader in research and advocacy in the field of domestic violence and health, Jacquelyn Campbell

Media contact: Briena Barrett 0432 566 014

Event Details

When: 26-28 October 2016

Where: InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto

Visit: https://www.latrobe.edu.au/jlc/news-events/NNVAWI-Conference-2016