Identifying then treating an injury suffered by someone who turns up at a hospital emergency department can be the easy part.
What's harder, Kelley Latta says, is establishing the context. Was the bruising or the broken bone truly caused by a clumsy fall, or a sign of a climate of violence at home?
Ms Latta, who is in charge of sexual assault-related counselling services at Albury Community Health, said this was a key challenge.
- Emergency: 000
- DV Hotline: 1800 656 463
- Safe Steps: 1800 015 188
- Betty's Place Women's Refuge: 02 6058 6200 or 1900 885 355
- DV counselling: 1800 737 732
- Kids' Helpine: 1800 789 978
- MensLine: 1300 789 978
Domestic and family violence certainly has been recognised by Albury Wodonga Health, having set-up the program Strengthening Hospitals' Response to Family Violence.
This aimed to build capacity for recognising such violence within the health system, which Ms Latta said was recognition of hospitals taking account of the World Health Organisation's burden of disease measurement criteria.
"This actually looks at intimate partner violence as being the No.1 factor for poor health outcomes for women from 18 to 44," she said.
"Emergency departments are really set-up to do emergency medicine on a physical injury.
"It is quite challenging to try to get that shift around, that this is actually social-emotional as well as physical," she said.
"The physical generally, not always, is actually quite evident and easily treated, but the context and the story of what's going on day-to-day, that cumulative effect, is what we know has impact.
"And there's that generational impact as well."
Ms Latta said indications of proposed reforms in NSW were that these would focus on violence, abuse and neglect.
"When you think about children who are in homes that are experiencing violence from that very, very young point, without intervention their life expectancy is actually lowered."
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