2022 - Present




Approved by the Curtin Human Research Ethic Committee (HRE2022-0243)


Dr Roanna Lobo (Curtin University), Dr Daniel Vujcich (Curtin University), Dr Jacqui Hendriks (Curtin University), Ms Tamara Lipscombe (Curtin University), Ms Sara Browne (Sexual Health Quarters), Ms Jennifer Mayne (Sexual Health Quarters).


It is estimated that full-time general practitioners see up to five women per week who have experienced some form of intimate partner violence (IPV), including reproductive coercion abuse (RCA). Women find it very difficult to spontaneously disclose exposure to IPV to healthcare providers for a range of reasons, including fear that they will not be believed, fear of how they will be treated by the health or justice system, and fear of reprisals from the partner. Research shows that women exposed to violence want to be asked about it. However, healthcare providers report significant personal discomfort in broaching the issue of IPV.

Sexual Health Quarters (SHQ) has been funded to deliver a multicomponent project to develop healthcare providers' knowledge, understanding and skills in recognising and responding to individuals impacted by IPV/RC and referring them to appropriate services. The title of the project is Safe to Tell.


The Safe to Tell project aims to increase the capacity of the health workforce to identify and support women with experiences of violence and coercion and ensure that more women who are at risk are identified and supported to be safe in their homes and communities. The evaluation of the project will assist in determining its efficacy and ascertaining the appropriateness of scaling up/adapting the model to other sites.

There are three major components to this project, which are simultaneously underpinned by research protocols. Project components include:

1. The application of IPV/RCA screening and resources for women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. This component is underpinned by two research strategies:

  • A scoping review of the literature, to canvass IPV/RCA screening tools and resources appropriate for women from CaLD backgrounds in healthcare settings; and
  • A Delphi-method focus group study to engage key stakeholder perspectives in the adaption of an IPV/RCA screening tool.

2. Pilot project for the implementation of IPV/RCA screening and support resources within women’s community healthcare settings. This component is underpinned by:

  • A systematic monitoring and evaluation frameworks, supported by fieldnotes and other resources; and
  • A qualitative interview study to explore the barriers and facilitators to successful program implementation within the healthcare setting.

3. Developing and piloting professional development education and training on IPV/RC for healthcare workings. This component is underpinned by three research strategies:

  • The adaption of a measurement survey to provide relevant indicators for healthcare worker capabilities to recognising and responding to individuals impacted by IPV/RC and referring them to appropriate services;
  • Cross-sectional survey research, with three time-point to assess the efficacy of IPV/RC education and training; and
  • A qualitative interview study to explore the IPV/RCA related knowledge, attitudes, and practices of healthcare workers.


Vujcich, D., Wilshin C., Lock, E.Reeves, K., & Lobo, R. (2022). Patients' and health care providers' perspectives of sexual and reproductive health services for people with disabilities: a scoping review protocol. JBI Evidence Sythesis, 20(0), 1-8.


This research is supported by funding from Sexual Health Quarters.


Roanna Lobo