GPs to refer patients to domestic violence support

Published: 8 May 2017

GPs can now refer patients who are victims of domestic and family violence to specialist support services as part of the Safer Pathway program.

The Safer Pathway program has created a streamlined referral pathway for victims who are “at threat” or “at serious threat” by bringing together local representatives, including police, Family and Community Services and local specialist non-government domestic and family violence services.

If a patient’s life or safety is at serious threat of harm, based on the Domestic Violence Safety Assessment Tool (DVSAT), a GP can make a referral without patient consent.

Through the program, GPs refer their patients experiencing domestic violence to their nearest Local Coordination Point.

Victims will then receive a phone call with an offer of coordinated support from a range of services including:

  • counselling
  • housing
  • financial assistance
  • legal assistance
  • court advocacy
  • security and safety upgrades
  • safety planning.

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Pru Goward said that by being able to refer patients to Safer Pathway, GPs can provide victims with support when they need it the most.

“Many domestic violence victims do not report the violence they are experiencing to police or other specialist services, but they do seek medical attention and help from their GPs,” Ms Goward said.

Police Minister Troy Grant said we all have a role to play in breaking the cycle of domestic violence in our communities.

“Police, GPs and specialist services can now collaborate and work effectively to put victims first, acknowledging that the individual impacts of domestic violence can vary significantly case-by-case.”

Find out more about the Safer Pathway program

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