Family violence: dealing with disclosures

WEBINAR: Tuesday 2 March 2021, 7.30 - 8.45pm

“Family violence can be physical, sexual or psychological. It is not a private matter, it is a crime. Preventing and effectively responding to family violence is one of the greatest opportunities to improve the wellbeing and safety of our communities, and we all have a role to play.”  (From NZ Police).

One in three1 New Zealand women have experienced sexual or physical abuse in their lifetime, rising to 55% when psychological and emotive forms of intimate partner violence are included. With its core mandate in holistic health and longitudinal care, general practice has an important role to play in a system response to family violence.

In this webinar, Dr Clare Healy looks at:

  • The health impacts of family violence.
  • How to enquire, respond and manage disclosures and presentations of family violence in general practice, using example cases.
  • What resources are available to support the general practice team and their patients.


How to offer help to your patients

When talking to people experiencing Family Violence or Sexual Violence:

Violence and abuse are never ok, but there are people who can help.
If you feel scared, threatened, or unsafe, call Police on 111.
If you are in danger but unable to speak, dial 111 then listen for the option to dial 55 - this will direct your call straight to Police. Or you can message a friend and ask them to call.
It’s OK to leave your Covid-19 bubble if you’re not safe.
Helplines and services are available, call or text:

Reach out, you deserve to be safe.

When talking to helpers:

If you suspect someone is being hurt or you’re worried about someone, you can help.

  • Call Police on 111 if you think someone is in danger
  • Listen and take it seriously
  • Give support, and helpline options
  • Call helplines to find out what you can do.

Remember it is ok for people to leave their Covid-19 bubble if they aren’t safe.


Dr Clare Healy

 Clare is a forensic physician and general practitioner in Christchurch. She is an expert in the assessment of physical and sexual assault, having worked in the area of healthcare for 25 years.  She is the Clinical Director of the Cambridge Clinic, which provides medical assessment for adult and adolescent victims of sexual assault and abuse. She completed a Masters in Forensic Medicine through Monash University in 2009 and has been involved in Medical Sexual Assault Clinicians Aotearoa (MEDSAC- was DSAC), an education and training provider, for many years.

Dr Healy is also a Clinical Editor for Canterbury Healthpathways. She is a contributing author to a national general practice resource regarding primary care response to family violence and has been part of a team contracted by the Ministry of Health since 2002 to provide education for primary care in recognising and responding to family violence.


This presentation is intended for qualified health practitioners professional development and should not be relied upon for any other purpose. Any opinions offered are those of the presenter or other speaker and do not necessarily represent the views of Goodfellow Unit.

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