16 Days of Activism to End Violence against Women & Girls

The SAFE Team’s Safer Families Centre will be releasing key messages during the campaign from three bodies of evidence:

  1. Intimate partner violence in the first decade of motherhood This evidence is drawn from the Mothers’ and Young People’s Study, an Australian longitudinal study investigating the health and wellbeing of over 1500 first-time mothers and their first-born children. (Brown SJ, Gartland D, Woolhouse H et al.)  Led by Stephanie Brown, the Safer Families Centre has illustrated the evidence through storytelling. Each story is set against the background of information that women in the study shared with us about their experiences during pregnancy and the first decade of motherhood. These provide data on women and children’s exposure to intimate partner violence from pregnancy to age ten; associated mental and physical health problems experienced by women and their children; patterns of health service use; and implications for the health sector.
  2. Transforming the health sector to address domestic and family violence
    This evidence is drawn from qualitative meta syntheses on what women expect from health practitioners; health practitioners’ perceptions of structural barriers and their personal barriers to identifying and addressing intimate partner violence. Led by Kelsey Hegarty, again we use storytelling from the voices of practitioners and victim survivors to present the findings. These include an overview of the barriers health professionals face when addressing domestic violence, system factors required to enable health practitioners to undertake this work and key recommendations for primary and health care policy and practice.
  3. All-of-family responses to children, mothers and fathers accessing services for domestic and family violence
  4. This evidence is drawn from a comprehensive set of evidence-based child-parent interventions for safety and resilience such as Caring Dads, RECOVER, Mothers in Mind and STACY to name a few (more info available at www.saferfamilies.org.au/strand-c). Led by Cathy Humphreys, this evidence forms the basis of lessons learnt about all-of-family approaches to domestic and family violence in the context of the Victorian service system, with a focus on Australian research. Our recommendations arising from this body of work will be useful to decision makers and practitioners of programs aimed at parenting in the context of domestic and family violence.

The Safer Families Centre is also running a social media campaign where we will be promoting Safer Families resources and training to help health professionals identify and respond to domestic violence and abuse through early engagement with family members.