The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) is pleased to present our newest Online Learning Module: the Rural Doctors’ Family and Domestic Violence Education Package.
The module has been developed by rural doctors for rural doctors, drawing on the diverse experience of a national team of clinicians. It aims to strengthen doctors’ capacity to address family violence within their rural and remote practice community. It is based on a series of clinically focused case-based discussions with emphasis on providing best practice responses at both the individual and the community level.
Reflecting the diversity of people who are affected by domestic violence in rural and remote communities, the module was developed by doctors across Australia, from locations such as Cooktown, Nhulunbuy, Alice Springs, Parkes and Port Hedland.
Lead Clinician on the program, Dr Jennifer Delima, is a remote and rural GP based in Alice Springs, with further specialisation in clinical forensic and addiction medicine. She heads the central Australian Sexual Assault and Addiction Studies units.
Dr Delima says “for rural and remote practitioners, the module will help them know how to provide holistic care for individual patients and the whole community. Domestic and family violence has for too long been a hidden phenomenon and a silent experience of grief and trauma.
“It has such an impact on the individuals, the women and the men and the children who are exposed to the violence as well as on the wider community. It models behavior that can begin repetitive cycles of trauma and grief.
“We know that prolonged and persistent trauma experience in a population, in adults and even more so in children, predisposes people to chronic disease such as hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease; it’s a physical response to the mental issue, the mental exhaustion and tension.
“As GPs, we’re treating those symptoms downstream, but it’s imperative to treat the underlying cause and address the issue up stream if we’re ever going to change anything.”
The module is available from acrrm.org.au and is complimentary to all ACRRM members as part of their membership.