Family violence is a population health issue that occurs globally, and is not limited to any one gender, religious, cultural or income group.
Violence and abuse in families can have damaging cumulative physical and mental health effects that can last for many years after the abuse has ended.
Health care providers are in an ideal position to assist victims of interpersonal violence and abuse as health providers come into contact with the majority of the population for routine health care, pregnancy, illness or injury or by bringing children to health care providers. Victims of abuse seek care from health care providers far more often for a range of health problems than do individuals who have not experienced abuse. Health care providers are therefore well placed to engage in early identification, support and referral of victims of abuse.
This Family Violence Assessment and Intervention Guideline is a practical tool to help health providers make safe and effective interventions to assist victims of interpersonal violence and abuse. It has been written as a generic health professional guideline, setting out principles of intervention that will apply to a number of health professions and a number of clinical settings.
The guideline presents a six step model for identifying and responding to family violence within health care settings. Given the co-occurrence of partner abuse and child abuse, the guidelines also outlines an integrated response to addressing both of these issues. The guidelines have been endorsed by a number of health professional and family violence intervention organisations.
The guidelines are intended for use in conjunction with health professional training offered through the Ministry of Health Violence Intervention Programme.