Family violence poses a significant health risk for people in New Zealand. As victims of abuse seek health care more often than individuals who have not experienced abuse, healthcare professionals are well placed to intervene in family violence before it reaches crisis point.
Capital & Coast District Health Board (CCDHB) has a violence intervention programme in place aimed at stopping family violence. It is underpinned by the Ministry of Health’s family violence guidelines.
These guidelines are practical tools to help health providers to ask questions about patients’ safely, to intervene effectively to and offer support for victims of violence and abuse. They set out principles of intervention that apply to a number of health professions and a number of clinical settings.
A key component of the CCDHB violence intervention programme is collaboration with other agencies. We have working relationships with Women’s Refuge, other local groups involved in preventing family violence, and government agencies including the Police and Child Youth and Family.