Jun 03
Domestic and Family Violence a Priority in Western NSW

Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) in partnership with Housing Plus and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) will be empowering Orange Health Service Inpatient Mental Health, Drug & Alcohol senior staff to better respond to staff experiencing domestic violence.

The Domestic Violence Project is a new intiative funded by Housing Plus through Family and Community Services providing assistance to organisations to help end domestic and family violence in Orange by identifying employees who may be experiencing or who are affected by domestic and family violence and respond appropriately to ensure staff are supported.

Domestic and Family Violence Project Officer, Jackie Kelly said domestic and family violence affects many aspects of people’s lives, including their ability to work.

“Employees experiencing or affected by domestic and family violence report that the abusive person has physically turned up at their workplace and their work was negatively affected as they were unwell due to social, physical and emotional problems,” Ms Kelly said.

“Other employees can also be negatively affected by a colleague who is experiencing domestic and family violence including dealing with the perpetrator, filling in for absenteism and supporting the colleague personally.”

As part of the the Domestic Violence Project, WNSWLHD is developing protocols for ensuring staff are confidentially referred for support and provided with adaptations in the workplace to ensure their safety and the safety of their colleagues.

The Project involves a four hour training program for senior staff delivered by specialists from UNSW’s Gendered Violence Research Network. The training includes information to help understand domestic and family violence and how to respond to staff or those affected who disclose in a confidential manner.

The service will also display posters and information for staff in work areas about domestic and family violence to ensure people who experience or are affected by domestic violence but feel unable to disclose, have access to information that may assist them.

Anyone experiencing domestic or family violence should contact Housing Plus Domestic Violence Services on 1300 DVHELP or 1800 RESPECT or 1800 737 732 or the Domestic Violence Helpline on 1800 656 463.

Media enquiries:Brendan Williams, Media Manager, Western NSW Local Health District via brendan.williams@health.nsw.gov.au