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Hospitals and family violence


Hospital staff are often the first people that women who are experiencing family violence talk to. However, staff aren’t always equipped to deal with these disclosures. The Royal Women’s Hospital, in collaboration with Bendigo Health and Our Watch, have developed Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence. This is a free toolkit to improve the response of health service staff to prevent, identify and respond compassionately to people experiencing family violence. It features resources such as training presentations, policies, procedures and guidelines that assist healthcare workers to identify and support people experiencing family violence, and refer them to the most appropriate services. It also has client-facing material to encourage women to talk about their experiences with staff.

Jane Christensen and I, with illustrator Rosanna Vecchio, developed the visual concept for this material. Jane came up with the idea of the birdhouse and Rosanna executed it with a delicate hand, taking into account detailed and insightful feedback from several focus groups. We deliberately kept the rest of the space clean and white, using typography that didn’t interfere with the clarity of the message. All three of us are very proud of the result, and we hope it goes some way to helping women at a difficult time in their lives.

“Lorna and Jane interpreted our brief with deep insight and sensitivity. They were always very responsive and thorough and with an eye for detail they made our job so much easier. It was great to collaborate with them on this important initiative.”
Siusan MacKenzie, Acting Chief Communications Officer, The Royal Women’s Hospital

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