At Robinvale District Health Services (RDHS) we recognise that family violence across the life span is a complex and serious community issue which can take many forms. While most commonly experienced by women and their children, family violence affects all members of society including men and the elderly. Family violence occurs in all types of families, regardless of income, profession, educational level or race. It has both immediate and long-term impacts on the physical, psychological and social health and wellbeing of those affected.
We recognise that family violence is a health issue, and is Victoria’s largest preventable cause of early death, disability and illness in women under the age of 45. It is also the main contributor to depression and anxiety in women. We acknowledge that our region is impacted heavily by family violence. As a health service we are in a unique position to identify people at risk, sensitively enquire if we can help, and make referrals to specialist family violence services if required. By doing so we will help to reduce the incidence of family violence and its impact on individuals, families, the community and the health system.
We will support our staff both professionally and personally in relation to family violence to ensure their wellbeing and safety.
We acknowledge that family violence is predominantly determined and reinforced by gender inequality and that we have a role to play in championing equality across our service and the community.
Our vision is a future where our community is free from family violence and where healthy, respectful relationships are the norm. As a hospital we can make a significant contribution to achieving this vision and contribute to changing behaviours and community attitudes through our clinical practices, education and advocacy programs.