Short course

Identifying and Responding to Domestic and Family Violence


This short e-learning course provides practical ways that health practitioners can increase their skills in identifying and responding to domestic and family violence. We outline how and when to ask about this sensitive issue and what to do when a patient discloses to enable a best practice response and referral.

This tutorial provides health practitioners with the knowledge and skills to respectfully engage and effectively identify and respond to patients experiencing domestic and family violence. You are introduced to the nature and impact on health of this chronic social condition and your role in the service system. We then discuss when and how to sensitively RECOGNISE families presenting with symptoms and risk factors. The following sections suggest how to assess RISK and RESPOND safely to domestic and family violence using examples from practice, including brief safety planning strategies. We then discuss how to REFER and RECORD, including information you can share. Finally, you are offered an opportunity to REVIEW how to change your health setting environment to carry out this sensitive work and REFLECT on your practice and need for support.

Designed For

Suitable for any registered nurse, GP, student or health care practitioner.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Discuss the nature, prevalence, and impact of domestic and family violence.
  2. Enquire sensitively to a diverse range of patients about domestic and family violence.
  3. Assess the level of risk and safety of patients experiencing domestic and family violence.
  4. Provide a first-line response addressing the needs of patients, including brief safety planning and options for support and referrals.
  5. Distinguish methods and resources for changing the environment you work in and getting support for yourself.


The assessment is submission of the eLearning self-assessments including case studies. A certificate is provided upon satisfactory completion of the course.

Delivery Mode

Fully online (Approx. 45 minutes of learning and 15 minutes of assessments and case studies).

Students have the flexibility to study in their own time and location.

Course Director

Professor Kelsey Hegarty

Professor Kelsey Hegarty

Joint Chair – Family Violence Prevention, Director - Safer Families Centre of Research Excellence

Kelsey Hegarty is an academic general practitioner who holds the joint Chair in Family Violence Prevention at the University of Melbourne and the Royal Women's Hospital. She leads a Centre of Research Excellence to promote Safer Families, and she co-chairs the Melbourne Research Alliance to End Violence against Women (MAEVe). Her research includes establishing the evidence base for interventions to prevent violence against women, educational and complex interventions around identification of domestic and family violence in primary care settings, and early intervention with men, women and children exposed to abuse. Kelsey has taught extensively at both an undergraduate and postgraduate level in medicine.

Course Coordinator

Ms Renee Fiolet

Ms Renee Fiolet

Scholar - Safer Families Centre of Research Excellence

Renee is a nurse, lecturer and research scholar. She is undertaking her PhD with the Department of General Practice, The University of Melbourne. Her research involves the co-design of a technological resource for family violence for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Renee has taught extensively in the undergraduate and post-graduate level in nursing and in health research. She is a member of MAEVe and Deputy Chair of the Board for The Centre Against Sexual and Family Violence, located in Geelong.

Contact Us

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T: +61 3 8344 5673

Course Information


Course Fee: AUD $22 (incl. GST)

Health Care Practitioners: AUD $11 (incl. GST) For Group Rates for hospitals or clinics please contact us at



Entry requirements

Any registered or student health care practitioner


The assessment is submission of the eLearning self-assessments including case studies. A Certificate of Completion is provided upon satisfactory completion of the course.