Featured News Releases 2018 June Northern Dentists taking action on domestic violence

Tue, 19 Jun 2018
Northern Dentists taking action on domestic violence
Amanda Lee-Ross, Felicity Croker, Ann Carrington
The developers of the program: Amanda Lee-Ross, CEO of the Cairns Regional Domestic Violence Service; Dr Felicity Croker, senior lecturer in dentistry; social work lecturer Dr Ann Carrington.

Dentists in Cairns, Townsville and Mackay will attend a briefing tonight on how to best support patients they suspect are experiencing domestic violence.

Dentists in Cairns, Townsville and Mackay will attend a briefing tonight on how to best support patients they suspect are experiencing domestic violence.

The presentation, Dentists and Domestic Violence – Recognise, Respond, Refer was requested by dentists after they heard of a new initiative at James Cook University, where dentistry students are now trained to recognise and respond to signs of domestic violence in their patients.

“After media coverage of our new program at JCU, we received requests from dentists who, like our students, felt this was something they needed specialist training in,” JCU senior lecturer Dr Felicity Croker said.

Tonight's presentation, like the JCU program, is a collaboration between Dr Croker, JCU social work lecturer Dr Ann Carrington and the CEO of the Cairns Regional Domestic Violence Service, Amanda Lee-Ross.

Dr Carrington said the involvement of the domestic violence service was essential. “It’s important for the dentists to hear from people who have front-line experience, and to meet the local services that they would potentially be referring to,” she said.

Amanda Lee-Ross said the program filled an important gap in service provision for people experiencing domestic and family violence.

“I’ve delivered a lot of training to other professionals who may come into contact with people experiencing domestic or family violence – such as doctors and nurses – and involving dentists makes total sense,” she said. “We see people experiencing facial injuries, and I’ve lost count of the number of clients who lost teeth because of the violence.”

The session is designed to help dentists to recognise the signs of possible domestic violence, and to explore how to support their patient.

“It’s not about intruding, or turning dentists into counsellors,” Dr Croker said. “It’s about developing the skills to have a difficult conversation that could make a significant difference to a patient’s quality of life, and may even prevent a death.”

Dentists and Domestic Violence – Recognise, Respond, Refer will be held on tonight from 7.00pm to 8pm at James Cook University in Cairns and will be video-conferenced to venues in Townsville and Mackay.

Contacts

Media enquiries: linden.woodward@jcu.edu.au