Family violence causes significant physical, emotional, psychological and financial harm to those who experience it, and can be lethal.  Primary health care professionals have a crucial role in recognising and responding to family violence and referring to family violence services  

Western Victoria Primary Health Network (WVPHN) is committed to empowering primary healthcare professionals in western Victoria with the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to confidently address family violence. General Practices can access WVPHN’s free clinical resources and specialised training to identify signs of family violence, respond appropriately and empathetically, and refer patients to local and specialised services.  

Beyond training, WVPHN engages in advocacy, research, and collaborative partnerships, aiming to continually enhance the local health care response to family violence.  Read the WVPHN Family and Domestic Violence Position Statement  

Starting the conversation

GPs are often the first point of contact for many experiencing family violence.  

Family violence often goes undetected in clinical settings, leaving numerous victim-survivors without the necessary support and intervention. Recognising the signs and starting a conversation can lead to early intervention and referrals to specialist family violence services, such as The Orange Door.  

Clinical resources  

Health professionals can find more information on family violence on the below HealthPathways pages, including how to identify and start the conversation on family violence with patients:   

Referrals to family violence services   

1800 RESPECT  

1800RESPECT is the national domestic, family and sexual violence counselling, information and support service.  

The Orange Door 

The Orange Door provides help for people experiencing family violence, or who need assistance with the care and wellbeing of children and young people. 

A-LIVES family violence training

General Practices can participate in the A-LIVES training package that is specifically designed to guide health professionals on how to initiate sensitive and supportive conversations with patients who may be experiencing family violence.  

The program provides a clinical context to family violence within the general practice setting, equipping participants with vital resources and referral pathways to family violence specialists using the Multi Agency Risk Assessment and Management (MARAM) Framework, a best practice framework for family violence risk assessment and management.  

By participating in the A-LIVES training package, primary health professionals gain a deeper understanding of family violence prevalence and how to support and refer patients effectively including techniques to create a safe space for disclosure, asking the right questions, responding appropriately, overcoming time pressures and assisting in updating or developing policies and procedures for responding to disclosures.  

More information

For more information, email: 

Last modified: 4 March, 2024