WONCA Special Interest Group: Family Violence

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Family Violence

A new WONCA Special Interest Group on Family Violence was approved by the WONCA Executive in January 2014.

Why we need a SIG on Family Violence:

Family violence includes intimate partner violence, child abuse, elder abuse as well as other forms of abuse occurring between family members. Violence can take many forms: physical, sexual, psychological, financial, spiritual and neglect. Family violence is associated with societal issues of gender inequity and poverty, presenting a major challenge for primary health care and society. The statistics on this health issue are alarming, with the cost of family violence on quality of life, health, and social damage remaining high. Read more about why we need an SIG on Family Violence.

General membership is open to interested family doctors. Membership connects you with doctors and other health professionals with a passion for improving the safety of families and the exchange of expertise and resources in this area. For more information email convenor

Our Family Violence consultancies

WONCA is delighted to offer international consultancy services in family violence, through its Special Interest group on Family Violence. .

FInd out more about our consultancies and expert panel here

Convenor / Chair


email convenor

Prof Kelsey Hegarty (Australia)

Kelsey Hegarty is a general practitioner or family doctor who holds the research Chair of Family Violence Prevention at the University of Melbourne and the Royal Women’s Hospital, Victoria, Australia. She is the co-chair of the Melbourne Research Alliance to End Violence against Women and their Children. Her research program includes the evidence base for early interventions; educational and complex interventions around identification of and response to family violence online and in health care settings. She participated as a member of the World Health Organisation guidelines development group. She provides clinical advice to the WHO on violence against women. She teaches doctors and nurse on a regular basis and has developed curriculum in the area of abuse and violence.

Dr Hagit Dascal-Weichhendler (Israel)

Hagit Dascal-Weichhendler is a board certified family physician, working full time as a clinician with a mixed population in Northern Israel. She is the chairperson of the Committee on Family Violence (FV) in Clalit Health Services, Haifa and West Galillee District, which serves over 740,000 patients from multiple cultural backgrounds. It provides training, educational materials counselling and support to staff on FV cases. She developed and teaches a mandatory semester course on FV in the Haifa Department of Family Medicine, as well as an elective semester course for Medical Students. Hagit has written guidelines on family violence for the Israeli Association of Family Medicine. She has participated in the development of a national simulation based educational program on FV. Her research interests are educational interventions on FV for health care staff, and FV health consequences. She's a member of the Ministry of Health Committee on FV. There she puts an emphasis on the importance of connecting between health providers in the field and policy makers. As a member of the FV SIG she seeks to improve international cooperation in this important area.

Co-Convenor or other office bearers

Leo Pas - past chair
Raquel Gomez Bravo - communications

Steering Committee Members

Kate Anteyi - Nigeria
Jinan Usta - Lebanon
Nina Monteiro - Portugal
Joyce Kenkre - UK
Carmen Fernandez Alonso - Spain
Ana Flavia de Oliveira -  Brazil
Nena Kopcavar - Slovenia
Omneya Ezzat Elsherif - Egypt
Sajar Othman - Malaysia

Executive Members

Membership Open?

Vision and Mission of WONCA SIG on Family Violence


The Special Interest Group on Family Violence's aims are to promote:
  1. evidence-based primary care and prevention for those affected by family violence to enhance safety, health and quality of life of families
  2. effective interdisciplinary care for those affected by family violence

Objectives of the WONCA SIG on Family Violence

Specific objectives to achieve the aims are
1. update and disseminate available evidence and resources on family violence in general practice/family medicine and primary care settings, whilst promoting, developing and sharing guidance and training on family violence for primary care professionals to enhance their attitudes, skills and knowledge about family violence.
2. encourage research and quality improvement on this topic for family medicine and primary health care.
3. promote involvement of National academies and colleges to develop policies and training on family violence and encourage individuals or organisations to raise awareness of family violence in the professional community.


Publications & Documents


You can keep up-to-date with our activities by subscribing to our newsletter, just send an email sigfv.news@gmail.com to let us know you’re interested or follow us on Twitter: SigFV_Wonca or Facebook: Sigfv Wonca

In 2018, we intend to participate in the following :
o VdGM Forum, Porto
o 15th World Rural Health Conference, New Delhi
o WONCA Europe Region conference, Krakow
o WONCA World conference, Seoul

In 2017, our recent activities included:
o VgGM Family Violence Group: April 21-22, Strasbourg
o WONCA Rural Health Conference: April 29-2 May, Cairns
o WONCA Europe Conference: June 28-01 July, Prague
o AfriWon Renaissance: August 16-17, South Africa
o WONCA Asia Pacific Regional Conference: November 1-4, Pattaya
o WONCA South Asia Regional Conference: November 25-26, Kathmandu
o Europrev Working Group Mental Health and Family Violence & European family Justice Centres Association – International Networks Meeting: December 1-2, Brussels