Family Violence

MAPrc is involved in multiple aspects of clinical work and research to reduce the impact of family violence across our community. The far-reaching impact of family violence and trauma on the mental health of women is now well-established, and recognition of this – by patient and her practitioner – is a critical step in mental illness recovery.

The severe mental health impacts of family violence and trauma are common presentations at MAPrc’s Women’s Mental Health Clinic, led by Professor Jayashri Kulkarni. Professor Kulkarni continues to provide expert opinion and present as an invited speaker to numerous conferences to advocate for the safety of women and the impact of violence on trauma and mental illness, and provided a witness statement to the Royal Commission into Family Violence in 2015.


Professor Kulkarni, along with the Women’s Mental Health Team, are using several research and training approaches to improve outcomes for women and children who suffer from family violence.


We currently have several studies underway to better understand:

- Health practitioners’ current practices and barriers to identifying and responding to family violence suffered by their patients

- The extent to which mental health clinicians elicit a history of previous trauma in female psychiatric patients

- The association between early life trauma and polycystic ovary syndrome in patients with borderline personality disorder (complex trauma disorder)

- The effects of a new medical treatment approach to improve symptoms of borderline personality disorder, or complex trauma disorder.


We also hold an annual conference to improve medical practitioner's knowledge about women's mental health, and the management of complex issues resulting from family violence and trauma across the lifespan.

We have developed a resource for health practitioners, for use in the course of their work when family violence is suspected (click on the toolkit below for full-text pdf).




 MAPrc Multidisciplinary Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre, Level 4, 607 St Kilda Road, Melbourne 3004