The Domestic Violence Routine Screening Program is an early identification and intervention strategy to promote awareness of the health impact of domestic violence, ask questions about patients' safety in relationships and the safety of their children, and to provide information on relevant health services for victims.
The NSW Health Policy and Procedures for Identifying and Responding to Domestic Violence (PD2006_084) formalised this strategy and requires screening to be undertaken in four target programs as part of routine assessment:
- all women attending antenatal services
- all women attending child and family health services
- women aged 16 years and over who attend mental health services
- women aged 16 and over who attend alcohol and other drugs services.
The prevalence of domestic violence and associated risks are high for female patients/clients in these clinical groups. Screening in women’s health programs and other programs is also undertaken on an ‘opt in’ basis, for example in Women’s Health and Sexual Assault Services (SAS).
The screening tool consists of a preamble containing key background information to assist women to make an informed decision about participating in the screening. This includes information on the health impacts of domestic violence, assurances relating to the standard questions asked of all women and the limits of confidentiality.
Detailed information on the Domestic Violence Routine Screening Program, including the rates and outcomes of routine screening, are reported every year in the Domestic Violence Routine Screening Snapshot Report.