Recognising and Responding to Sexual Violence in Adults

2022Recognising and Responding to Sexual Violence in Adults

Event Details

Are you a healthcare worker working in Australia who cares for victims of sexual violence? If so, this course is for you.

Monash University’s Department of Forensic Medicine and consortia partner, the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM), have developed a three-unit Course for health practitioners in Recognising and Responding to Sexual Violence which commenced in 2021 and will continue in 2022.

This training program is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services (DSS) as an initiative under the Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children 2010–2022. The training will equip healthcare professionals to recognise and respond appropriately to adult disclosures of sexual violence.

Monash University is seeking expressions of interest from registered and practicing health practitioners providing primary health care services to undertake the RACGP and other medical college CPD-accredited training pilot at no cost.

You can enrol in single or multiple units.

Consideration will be given to rural and remote practitioners and those whose practice catchment includes patients at higher risk of experiencing sexual violence. This may include:

  • patients with intellectual disabilities
  • patients from culturally and linguistically diverse communities
  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • patients who identify as LGBTQIA+
  • older adults
  • adolescents
  • sex workers

Each unit is delivered online over a six-week period and includes live sessions with clinicians with expertise in responding to sexual violence. The course has been designed to be interactive.

Unit 1 – Sexual Violence: Drivers and Impacts

Unit 1 will provide an evidence-based overview of sexual violence prevalence, drivers, short- and long-term impacts on individuals and the community and an overview of justice responses.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Determine indicators of sexual violence and assess patient risk.
  • Determine short and long-term health impacts of sexual violence and incorporate into patient management
  • Integrate impacts of vicarious trauma and unconscious bias into self-care and patient care management.
  • Integrate discussion on the role of police, the justice system and confidentiality into patient reporting options.

Doctor Intakes commencing:  28 March / 23 May / 20 June
Nurse Intakes commencing:  15 March / 09 May / 04 July

Unit 2 – Responding to Sexual Violence in Adults

Unit 2 focuses on the patient consultation, medical care and documentation and referrals.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Prioritise and integrate the complex elements of sexual violence disclosures into patient care
  • Construct a trauma-informed patient management plan for patients who disclose sexual violence
  • Identify the key ethical, medical, and forensic issues that need to be addressed in patients disclosing sexual violence

Doctor Intakes commencing:  30 May / 25 July / 15 August
Nurse Intakes commencing: 
 16 May / 11 July / 29 August

Unit 3 – Responding to Sexual Violence in At-Risk Patients

Unit 3 covers immediate and long-term care for individuals who are known to be at a higher risk of experiencing sexual violence.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify forms of sexual violence experienced by at-risk patients and address barriers to disclosure.
  • Apply and integrate understanding of intersectionality and response frameworks into healthcare for patients from at-risk cohorts who disclose sexual violence.
  • Formulate patient-focused healthcare for at-risk patients who have experienced sexual violence.
  • Evaluate patient needs and apply understanding of psycho-social support services to provide referrals that address a patient’s complex and diverse needs and pathway for recovery.

Doctor Intakes commencing: 01 August  / 19 September / 10 October
Nurse Intakes commencing: 
 18 July / 05 September / 17 October

The curriculum is patient-centred and recognises and addresses the risk of vicarious trauma for health practitioners in caring for victim/survivors of sexual violence.

The program is designed to be practical and the practice-focused units will include a Sexual Assault Response Resource developed by specialist forensic medical practitioners. This guideline will support workplace operationalisation of course learning.

Who should attend?

Each Unit is designed for medical practitioners, nurses, midwives, and other health professionals who care for patients who may have experienced sexual violence.


Year Around Event (2022)





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