HEALTH staff are becoming more aware of the steps to take to support people impacted by domestic and family violence.
Social Worker Sue Vucak is one of three staff at Cairns Hospital in the Domestic and Family Violence Unit (DVFU).
‘Hospital and health services are the second most likely place DVF victim-survivors seek support (after Queensland Police Service),’ said Sue. ‘Our message to the community is that Domestic and Family Violence is a HEALTH issue and families can access support when they are in hospital’.
‘We’re training our staff to assess DFV risks and plan for safety with our patients’,’ said Sue.
‘Staff can utilise the DFVU to support them to provide safe, appropriate and timely responses to patient’s experiencing DFV.’
A Queensland Health DFV Toolkit of resources helps health workers Recognise, Respond, and Refer suspicions and disclosures of DFV. The training is now mandatory for all health workers.
‘The DFV social workers at the hospital are also part of a multi-agency team who provide support to people who are facing significant DFV threats.’
‘We want to support the whole family, including the person using violence,’ said Sue. ‘DFV is non-discriminatory and affects individuals, families, children, and the wider community.’
This high-risk team is led by Cairns Regional Domestic Violence Service and includes representatives from:
- Queensland Police Service
- Child Safety
- Victim Assist QLD
- Queensland Corrective Services
- Youth Justice
- Department of Housing
- Queensland Health
- Department of Education
- Queensland Courts
This teams completes a multi-agency risk assessment and safety planning.
- Domestic and family violence community support
- Womens' Centre FNQ for Housing and DV Support
- Cairns Regional Domestic Violence Service
- NQ Women's Legal Service for free legal advice
In an emergency call the police on 000
- DVConnect Womensline: 1800 811 811
- DVConnect Mensline: 1800 600 636
- 1800RESPECT: 1800 737 732