Setting up a domestic violence telephone helpline for general practitioners in Australia: What exists and what works? Academic Article uri icon


  • Domestic violence is a global health issue. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends training health professionals to respond appropriately to victims of domestic violence. Despite those who experience domestic violence attending general practice, general practitioners (GPs) receive little training in managing this issue. Helplines predominantly exist to support the general public and patients; however, few exist for GPs, and there are none regarding domestic violence.This article explores how helplines can support GPs in the management of patients who have experienced domestic violence.A scoping review of helplines targeting GPs was used in this study.Few helplines target health professionals and limited evaluations on these helplines have been undertaken. Health professional helplines cover broad specialist fields, and health professionals value access to specialists. Helplines are educational and increase the confidence of health professionals in providing quality patient care. Key challenges include helpline awareness and timely support.Developing a domestic violence helpline for GPs is unexplored, but there is potential for education and improved response to patients. Helpline workers need tailored training to respond to health professionals' complex, specialist needs. These helplines need extensive marketing to ensure uptake and funding.

publication date

  • 2016