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Violence against women and their children affects everybody. It impacts on the health, wellbeing and safety of a significant proportion of Australians throughout all states and territories and places an enormous burden on the nation’s economy across family and community services, health and hospitals, income-support and criminal justice systems.

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ANROWS was established by the Commonwealth and all state and territory governments of Australia to produce, disseminate and assist in applying evidence for policy and practice addressing violence against women and their children.

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RESEARCH REPORT

Women’s Input into a Trauma-informed systems model of care in Health settings: The WITH study.
Final report

Survivors of sexual violence can experience a range of trauma-related mental health problems, and pre-existing mental illness can also increase women’s vulnerability to sexual violence. However, although mental health and sexual violence services often see the same women, there is often a lack of communication and cross-referrals between services.

The With Study—Women’s Input into a Trauma-informed systems model of care in Health settings—was commissioned by ANROWS to understand how to promote a trauma-informed organisational model of care, responsive to women and practitioners, and embed it into the complex system of mental health and sexual violence services.

Based in Victoria and New South Wales, the research drew on qualitative work with women, stakeholders, and practitioners, as well as digital storytelling, and engaged with evidence and current theory around systems change in health settings. The findings provide guidance for future improvements to the health care system when responding to women with mental health problems and sexual violence, and other co-existing conditions that lead to trauma.

Trauma-informed care seeks to create safety for patients by understanding the effects of trauma and its close links to health and behaviour. Ideally, women experiencing mental health problems and sexual violence would have a pathway to safety and care no matter which service they approach first. But there has been little evaluative evidence to inform organisational and systems change, and no current organisational model outlines how services can optimally undertake trauma-informed care when both mental health problems and a history of sexual violence are present.

 

 

Publication details

This work is part of the ANROWS Horizons series. ANROWS Horizons (Research reports) are indepth reports on empirical research produced under ANROWS’s research program.


Authors

PROFESSOR KELSEY HEGARTY
Chair of Family Violence Prevention, The University of Melbourne and The Royal Women’s Hospital

DR LAURA TARZIA
Research Fellow, The University of Melbourne

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR SUSAN REES
The University of New South Wales

MS ALYSSHA FOOKS
Project Manager, The Royal Women’s Hospital

MS KIRSTY FORSDIKE
Senior Research Officer, The University of Melbourne

DR DELANIE WOODLOCK
Research Officer, Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria

MS LISA SIMPSON
Program Manager, Sexual Assault Counselling Service, Community Health, Sydney Local Health District

DR CLARE MCCORMACK
Research Assistant, Psychiatry Research and Teaching Unit, University of New South Wales

MS SUE AMANATIDIS
Director Specialist Services, Community Health, Sydney Local Health District

 


ISBN: 978-1-925372-60-1 (print) 978-1-925372-61-8 (online)

78 pp.

 

Suggested citation

Hegarty, K., Tarzia, L., Rees, S., Fooks, A., Forsdike, K., Woodlock, D., Simpson, L., McCormack, C., Amanatidis, S. (2017). Women’s Input into a Trauma-informed systems model of care in Health settings (The WITH Study) Final report (ANROWS Horizons 02/2017). Sydney: ANROWS.

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