Issue addressed: It is demonstrated that primary health care (PHC) providers are sought out by women who experience violence. Given the disproportionate burden of violence experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, it is essential there is equitable access to appropriate PHC services. This review aimed to analyse whether Australian PHC policy accounts for the complex needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women experiencing violence and the importance of PHC providers responding to violence in culturally safe ways. Methods: Using the Arskey and O’Malley framework, an iterative scoping review determined the policies for analysis. The selected policies were analysed against concepts identified as key components in responding to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women experiencing violence. The key components are Family Violence, Violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women, Social Determinants of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Wellbeing, Cultural Safety, Holistic Health, Trauma, Patient-Centred Care and Trauma-and-Violence-Informed Care. Results: Following a search of Australian government websites, seven policies were selected for analysis. Principally, no policy embedded or described best practice across all key components. Conclusion: The review demonstrates the need for a specific National framework supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who seek support from PHC services, as well as further policy analysis and review. So what?: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women disproportionately experience more severe violence, with complex impact, than other Australian women. PHC policy and practice frameworks must account for this, together with the intersection of contemporary manifestations of colonialism and historical and intergenerational trauma.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
- interpersonal violence
- primary health care
- public policy
- women's health