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Colac Area Health’s Family Violence Workplace Support Launch

Colac Area Health recognises the devastating impact family violence experienced by staff members and volunteers can have upon their health, safety, capacity to work and financial security.

As part of its commitment to reducing family violence, Colac Area is implementing its Family Violence Workplace Support Program, forming part of the larger Strengthening Health Service Response to Family Violence Initiative.

The program aims to support staff to know how to respond appropriately should a fellow staff member or volunteer disclose their experience of family violence. “This approach recognises that we need to care for the carers before we can expect them to support others coming into our health service” explained Geoff Isles, Colac Area Health CEO at the program launch on 1 November.

Statistics show that, given Colac Area Health is a workplace made up primarily of women, it is likely that many are, or have experienced family violence. “With one in three women in Australia experiencing physical violence since the age of 15, we know that a significant proportion of our staff will either directly or indirectly be impacted by violence, and this violence is most likely to be committed by someone they know” said Geoff.

Colac Area Health has recently provided education to managers to recognise and respond to family violence experienced by staff and volunteers. Further education will be provided to the wider staff group on what family violence is and supports available within the workplace. New policies, procedures and family violence leave entitlements have also been introduced at Colac Area Health.

“Colac Area Health can play an important role in the prevention of family violence by creating a workplace environment that promotes disclosure of family violence and supports participation in decision making, strengthens respectful relationships, challenges the normalities of violence and supports those effected by violence to reduce consequences” said Geoff.

For further information on family violence, go to the family violence tab on the front page of the intranet.

For family violence support, contact The Orange Door on 1800 312 820. In an emergency, or if you are in danger of experiencing violence, call the Police on 000.