New ANROWS Landscapes (state of knowledge) papers now available
30 September 2015
This paper examines the available literature on trauma-informed frameworks, models and guidelines that guide organisations to improve service provision to survivors of sexual violence with mental health problems.
It finds that while both academic and grey literature show consistent themes about the principles of trauma-informed care, there is little evaluative evidence to inform organisational and systemic change. To address challenges in producing evaluative evidence, such as the suitability of standard methodologies and the complexity of evaluating systems-level change while acknowledging the context of individual systems, the paper recommends that future research examines:
- How can we ensure that trauma-informed care is meeting the needs of women who have experienced both mental health issues and sexual violence?;
- How can we better integrate mental health and sexual violence service paradigms and approaches to trauma-informed care?;
- How can we enact trauma-informed care in practice when dealing with women who have experienced both mental health issues and sexual violence? and;
- How can we successfully implement trauma-informed care at an organisational level within complex health systems?
This paper presents a preliminary overview of the literature on the partnerships, collaborations and integrated interventions in relation to domestic and family violence and sexual assault in the international and Australian context.
It finds that the current Australian policy context prioritises integration and multi-sectoral responses to address the limitations of traditional service delivery and the negative consequences of fragmentation and disconnection. Despite the significant challenges to integrated responses, and the limited evidence base on effective responses (which is improving with a growing number of evaluation studies in Australia and internationally), the anecdotal and empirically derived potential benefits appear to outweigh the alternatives.