July 25, 2019

Family Violence Forum – will you be there?

The Family Violence: At Risk communities Breaking Through the Barriers half day forum scheduled for Friday, August 16 will focus on practical ways to be more supportive, approachable and effective in supporting people when family violence is present, both in a clinical and non-clinical role.

Last year, Northern Health and Kilmore District Hospital held the inaugural Family Violence Forum organised by our Strengthening Hospital Response to Family Violence team.

Taylor Woodward, Public Affairs went to the forum last year and said she learned a lot about family violence and the different topics associated with it.

“I found the forum really helpful, even working in a non-clinical environment,” she said.

This year, the forum will focus on new vulnerable community groups.

Natasha Knapic, Project Officer is excited about the variety of topics and presenters, and the organisations involved.

β€œThe speakers will also help us gain an understanding of the resources available for particular vulnerable groups which we may not know about,” she added.

“When it comes to children, the Australian Childhood Foundation will be investigating the effects that family violence can have on the developing brain. They will also discuss alternative treatment, and therapies apart from traditional counselling, such as body art,” she said.

The team is particularly pleased to have Janet Glover from Foundation House presenting on the day to give an in depth view on asylum seekers and family violence which is a unique opportunity.

“There will also be a session dedicated to mental health, as we know that this is a high risk factor for people experiencing family violence. The intersection between mental health and family violence is often poorly understood and there are misconception that mental health is a driver of family violence,” she added.

The session on sexual assault will discuss the resilience and recovery journey of people affected by sexual assault through family valence and how to assist them in their healing toward an improved quality of life.

“I would like to encourage everyone to come to the forum. Family violence is a health issue and we all have a responsibility to increase our awareness,” Natasha added.

Sneza Filiposki, Project Support Officer added that family violence is a major national health and welfare issue and this forum is Northern Health’s opportunity to increase our knowledge and skills when working with vulnerable communities.

“We know those communities face additional barriers around disclosing family violence and accessing support. As healthcare workers, we all have a role to play in making a difference to the lives of people affected by family violence. Let’s help strengthen those vulnerable communities,” she said.

The tickets are available through Eventbrite and the money raised will be donated to a family violence service.


Family Violence: At Risk Communities – Breaking Thorough the Barriers

Friday, 16 August, 8.30 am – 2 pm, NCHER. Morning tea and lunch provided.
Ticket price $15.00- please click here to get your tickets through Eventbrite.

Speakers and topics:

Kaye Rigby, Northern Centre Against Sexual Assault – Sexual Assault: Resilience and Recovery
Amanda Dashwood and Lisa Hebel, North Western Mental Health – The Intersect between Mental Health and Family Violence
Pat Jewell, Australian Childhood Foundation, Children: Invisible Victim/Survivors of Family Violence and Alternative Therapies
Janet Glover, Foundation House, Supporting Asylum Seekers
Training on how to Recognise and Respond to Family Violence using sensitive inquiry is available after the forum from 2.00pm to 3.30pm. Please register for training here.