The country’s largest union, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) is using its support of the Luke Batty Foundation’s Never Alone campaign against domestic violence, to call for nurses and midwives to be specifically trained in domestic violence, as part of their studies.
The ANMF, in partnership with the Never Alone campaign, wants to explore ways of ensuring that nurses and midwives all receive education and training in domestic violence at the undergraduate level and within the health system.
“Nurses and midwives are at the coalface of our health system – they’re the ones who treat victims of domestic violence and see the terrible impact violence has on them and their families,” ANMF Federal Secretary Lee Thomas said today.
“That’s why we need to put domestic violence on the agenda as a mainstream health issue by empowering nurses and midwives with further education and training to enable them to recognise and appropriately manage domestic violence issues when they see it.”
The ANMF will also use the Biennial National Conference in Adelaide to continue its campaign against the Government’s draconian Australian Border Force Act 2015 – a so-called “gag order” which carries the threat of a two-year prison term for health professionals who speak out about the poor conditions in detention centres.
Federal Secretary Lee Thomas said it was outrageous that nurses and midwives could be locked-up for “just doing their job”.
“Nurses and midwives must be able to carry out their duty of care by reporting any instances of sub-standard care or abuse on places like Manus Island and Nauru,” Ms Thomas said.
“The Government must realise that we have moral and legal obligations to protect the safety of our patients, this includes ensuring that the treatment they receive is appropriate and always respects and maintains their dignity, whether that’s in an Australian hospital setting or in an offshore detention centre.
“Any law that seeks to override those obligations is utterly unacceptable. .
“Our new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has called for consultative leadership which is why he must overturn this disgraceful piece of Legislation.”
ANMF delegates will gather outside the Conference today and tape their mouths shut – in a show of protest that nurses and midwives won’t be silenced.
Download this media release: ANMF takes a stand against domestic violence