A critical exploration of system abuse in responding to domestic violence

October 14, 2016

Ms Adele Sheridan-Magro, Team Manager Social Work Women and Child Health, NSW Health Liverpool Hospital NSW joins us at the STOP Domestic Violence Conference this December in Brisbane to discuss Make him visible and don’t diagnose his abuse: A critical exploration of system abuse in responding to domestic violence’.

Research now makes a compelling case for a direct link between women’s experience of  intimate partner violence and heightened rates of depression, trauma symptoms, and self-harm. Critically however, women who are victims of  intimate partner violence consistently report that, their experiences of mental health services are often found to be negative. Concluding that, a number of practices within the medical model of mental health are, at best, unhelpful, and vitally, are often found to be profoundly lacking in their recognition of the complex and multilayered trauma experienced by victims of intimate partner violence.

Participants of this presentation will be invited to reflect on the centrally constructed values profoundly embedded within intimate partner violence. Significantly moreover, to reflect on the critical position of mental health services have in maintaining the’ invisibility of the abuser’ by and through, the dominance of the medical model, focusing on a woman’s mental health – reified from her experiences of abuse; blaming the victim; treating the symptoms of abuse rather than the cause, offering medication rather than counselling and support.

In the concluding of the presentation participants will be asked to self reflect on their own attitudes and understanding around the notion that, intimate partner violence is not simply one of many problems, but is an  issue  that requires addressing  as a primary concern that  profoundly,  moreover, holistically, impacts on the emotional wellbeing of  women.

Adele is an’Accredited Mental Health Social Worker’. Team Manager for The Women and Child Health Team: Social Work Liverpool Hospital  Adele has extensive experience in the NGO sector as a specialist domestic violence counsellor, educator and trainer and service coordinator.  Adele has presented on domestic violence at conferences both nationally and internationally. In September 2015 Adele presented at ‘The European Conference on Domestic Violence’ held in Belfast Ireland.

The 2016 STOP Domestic Violence Conference will be held on 5 – 7 December at the Mercure Brisbane, QLD. For more information on the conference and to secure your spot at this important event, please visit the conference website.


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