1800RESPECT Survey Results

As 1800RESPECT steps up its support to help frontline workers deal with sexual and domestic assault, a new survey reveals that Australian nurses would like more support in responding to clients who may be experiencing violence.

The 1800RESPECT survey of nurses also reveals:

  • 56 per cent suspect a client may be experiencing sexual or domestic violence
  • 63 per cent have had clients that have made voluntary a disclosure of domestic violence or sexual assault.
  • While 88 per cent say they feel they would be able to manage a client disclosure, almost all of them want more support responding to clients who are experiencing sexual assault or domestic violence

Ms Jane French from 1800RESPECT said the frontline workers website provides information for nurses and other professionals to recognise potential signs of sexual and domestic violence, provides guidelines on how to respond, and gives information and ideas about how best to help clients who may be at risk.

“At 1800RESPECT we are supporting all nurses, with a focus on emergency department and pre-natal nurses in rural and regional Australia, who may work with patients at risk of harm as a result of domestic or sexual violence. The website supports nurses and other professionals in screening for family or sexual violence, to develop safety plans and to support patients in accessing specialised support from family or sexual violence experts.”

Ms French said Australian Bureau of Statistics research shows more than 40 per cent of Australian women have experienced some form of violence since they were 15 years of age and that young people between the ages of 18 and 24 are the most likely group to have experienced some form of violence in the last year.

“These concerning statistics highlight how important it is to provide a visible and accessible access point for people affected by violence. Having an accessible on line resource to turn to like 1800 RESPECT can provide workers with the tools they need to act.”

“People affected by violence may reach out for assistance or help from people working across a range of sectors so it is imperative that we equip frontline workers across the health and human services sectors with the skills to assist. I encourage frontline workers to visit the 1800RESPECT website and familiarise yourself with the array of resources available.”

The website has been prepared by experts to help workers to recognise signs of sexual or domestic violence and respond appropriately. It has dedicated pages for specific work sectors, making it quick and easy to find information, advice, training and support. Workers can also refer clients to the website for information, and there’s a dedicated section for their family and friends too.

1800RESPECT provides free, 24-hour support accessible for all Australians including:

  • How to recognise the signs of a person who is experiencing domestic and sexual violence.
  • How to open a space for a client to talk about their experiences.
  • How to respond to a disclosure.
  • How to ensure the client gets the professional help and support they need to take the next steps.

“While it’s okay not to have all the answers, it’s important to know where to find help and support because, crucially, responding is everyone’s business,” Ms French said.

Nurses and other frontline workers can access free webinars from 1800RESPECT. On Thursday 24th July Anne-Laure Senior Clinical Specialist, Australian Centre for Post traumatic Mental Health will present a webinar on Vicarious Trauma.

Access the 1800RESPECT website for information and online counselling.

Responding is everyone’s business.