In this paper, originally published on the CEPOL Europe website, our own Professor Bettina Pflederer, has issued this important paper, titled: View of The Challenge of Involving Medical Doctors as Important Frontline Responders in Fighting Domestic Violence. We are very proud of Professor Pflederer’s work and thank her for her immense commitment to fight against violence against women and girls.
For victims of domestic violence, medical problems in the short-term are injuries and in the long-term health issues such as mental health problems, consequences of untreated sexual
transmitted diseases or stress-related health issues evolving from the abuse they’ve experienced by a partner or any other family member. This inevitably makes victims seek the help of the
medical profession sooner or later. The medical profession is therefore an important stakeholder in the group of frontline responders detecting and intervening domestic abuse.
Unfortunately, the medical profession is often not an active partner in frontline responder networks based on interviews (n = 296) we conducted in the IMPRODOVA project 1. In this article, problems cutting medical professionals out of the networks of frontline responders and reasons why they should be integrated are presented. The paper also discusses what needs to be changed in order to better integrate the medical profession in the circle of frontline responders working against domestic violence.
View the paper here: https://bulletin.cepol.europa.eu/index.php/bulletin/article/view/414/333
Associate Professor Magdalena Simonis AM is the President of the AFMW (2020-) and former President of VMWS (2013 & 2017-2020). She is a full time clinician who also holds positions on several not for profit organisations, driven by her passion for bridging gaps across the health sector. She is a leading women’s health expert, keynote speaker, climate change and gender equity advocate and government advisor.
Magdalena was awarded a lifetime membership of the RACGP for her contributions which include past chair of Women in General Practice, longstanding contribution to the RACGP Expert Committee Quality Care, the RACGP eHealth Expert Committee. She is regularly invited to comment on primary care research though mainstream and medical media and contributes articles on various health issues through newsGP and other publications.
Magdalena has represented the RACGP at senate enquiries and has worked on several National Health Framework reviews. She is author of the RACGP Guide on Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery and co-reviewer of the RACGP Red Book Women’s Health Chapter, and reviewer of the RACGP White book
Both an RACGP examiner and University examiner, she undertakes general practice research and is a GP Educator with the Safer Families Centre of Research Excellence, which develops education tools to assist the primary care sector identify, respond to and manage family violence . Roles outside of RACGP include the Strategy and Policy Committee for Breast Cancer Network Australia, Board Director of the Melbourne University Teaching Health Clinics and the elected GP representative to the AMA Federal Council. In 2022. she was award the AMA (Vic) Patrick Pritzwald-Steggman Award 2022, which celebrates a doctor who has made an exceptional contribution to the wellbeing of their colleagues and the community and was listed as Women’s Agenda 2022 finalist for Emerging Leader in Health.
Magdalena has presented at the United Nations as part of the Australian Assembly and was appointed the Australian representative to the World Health Organisation, World Assembly on COVID 19, by the Medical Women’s International Association (MWIA) in 2021. In 2023, A/Professor Simonis was included on the King’s COVID-19 Champion’s list and was also awarded a Member (AM) in the General Division for significant service to medicine through a range of roles and to women’s health.