Prevalence of family violence and the role of GPs
Family should be a source of love, nurture and security. Yet, for many Australians, family is a source of fear and pain.
Family violence may include threats, abuse (physical, sexual, emotional or psychological), coercive control or financial manipulation.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that:
- One in six women and one in 16 men have experienced physical or sexual abuse by a current or previous partner
- One in four women and one in 16 men have experienced emotional abuse by a current or previous partner.
As the RACGP’s White Book states,
‘GPs have a role in prevention, early identification, responding to disclosures of intimate partner abuse, and follow-up and support of patients and their children experiencing the health effects of violence and abuse.’
That’s no easy task. Indeed, the complexities here can make even the most challenging of your other patients seem easy to treat in comparison.