Identifying and Responding to Family Violence

Family violence is the leading contributor to preventable death, illness and disability for Victorian women aged 15-44 years and has serious implications for the health, education, employment and economic security of women, children, families and communities.

Statistics show that women who experience violence access health care services more than non-abused women. This means that health care providers are well placed to assist with the health and psycho-social needs of women who access their services. The health system is a key point of contact for both identifying family violence, and for intervening to support women and children to reduce their risk of violence as recognised by the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence:


All services that come into contact with family violence victims should be equipped to identify, and in some cases, assess and manage risk, and to ensure that victims are supported. Mainstream services such as health services, must be able to identify risk and refer victims to services that can provide more comprehensive support, such as specialist family violence services.


The Identifying and Responding to Family Violence project aims to provide a more streamlined and coordinated service system response to family violence by:

1. Building the capacity of mainstream health organisations to effectively identify and respond to family violence; and

2. Supporting organisations to develop a whole of organisation approach to family violence 3. Strengthening and consolidating the pathways between mainstream health organisations and the integrated family violence sector across the north east region.

Policy templates


North East Healthy Communities has released a series of templates for organisations interested in developing internal policies for Identifying and Responding to Family Violence (IRFV). These are based on the original suite of policy templates developed by the Inner North West PCP (see below).

There are two policies:

  • Workplace Family Violence; and
  • Identifying Family Violence and Responding to Women and Children.

There are six templates in the series. Click on the hyperlink below to download a copy.

                         Organisational Assessment Guide

Project resources


North East Healthy Communities acknowledges the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional custodians of the land we work on. We pay our respects to their Elders both past and present and acknowledge all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first people of this nation.