Dentists and Domestic Violence: Part One

Dentists and Domestic Violence: Part One
This lecture is designed for the entire dental team, including Dentists, Oral Health Therapists, Hygienists, Practice Managers and Dental Assistants.

EVENT overview

This lecture will focus on Foundations for Dental Practitioners and Oral Health Professionals and is the first in the two-part series.

COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in increased prevalence of domestic and family violence.  Dental practitioners have a critical role to play in identifying patients experiencing domestic and family violence, responding sensitively throughout the delivery of oral health care, and in facilitating referral on to appropriate services.  With Dentists and domestic violence – recognise, respond and refer training, dental practitioners develop the knowledge and skills to make a significant difference to a patient’s quality of life and may prevent a death. 

Domestic violence impacts significantly on dental health, through neglect, physical trauma and the potential for anxiety, fear and trauma-induced responses affecting visits to the dentist.  Regaining optimal oral health following domestic abuse has the potential to positively improve not only individual self-esteem but also the overall health of survivors and their families.  Dentists are uniquely positioned to make a difference to the lives of patients who have experienced DV because they routinely assess the head and neck, where signs of trauma are often visible, such as fractured teeth and facial bones, strangulation marks, bruises, and scratches. Furthermore, dentists frequently encounter common more subtle manifestations of DV that can seriously impact dental treatment and general health, such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.  However, many dental practitioners feel under-prepared for providing appropriate ‘whole of practice’ care to patients who have experienced abuse.  

These two professional development sessions aim to build a shared understanding of domestic and family violence with a focus on strategies designed to address this concern by guiding dental practitioners on responding appropriately to their patients so as to improve the experience and outcomes for all. 

This Dentists and Domestic Violence – Recognise, respond and refer CPD session will provide oral health professionals with foundational information to guide their practice with patients who are experiencing domestic violence. 


Participants will;

  • Gain an understanding of the Dentists and Domestic Violence - Recognise, Respond and Refer (DDV: RRR) program
  • Understand the role of dental practitioners in responding to domestic and family violence
  • Gain an understanding of the gendered nature, dynamics and prevalence of domestic and family violence and the important role of dentists.
  • Develop an understanding of the diverse behaviours that constitute domestic and family violence, in particular intimate partner violence
  • Be able to identify warning signs of abuse and risk indicators
  • Develop a foundational understanding of what to do if a disclosure of domestic violence is made or if there are observable signs of abuse in patients or colleagues
  • Know how to respond to disclosures respectfully and sensitively and prioritise the safety of DV victims / survivors when facilitating referrals.


Speaker biography

Dr Felicity Croker

PhD, B.ED (Hons1) RN, RM
Adjunct Associate Professor, Dentistry, James Cook University 

Dr Felicity Croker PhD, B.ED (Hons1) RN, RM is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the JCU College of Medicine and Dentistry and was a founding staff member of Dentistry at JCU. Since 2015, Felicity has worked in partnership with Social Work at JCU, the Cairns Regional Domestic Violence Service and dental colleagues to design, implement and evaluate the award winning Dentists and Domestic Violence – Recognise, Respond and Refer program. Felicity continues to focus on developing oral health professionals’ capacity to respond appropriately to domestic violence.

Informed by extensive clinical practice, teaching, research and consultancies in regional, rural and remote communities, Felicity applies a broad interprofessional focus to roles across disciplinary boundaries and sectors. She is strongly committed to educating a socially accountable health workforce who can contribute effectively to communities where they serve. Current research focuses on community-based public health initiatives, domestic violence, dental education, and graduate outcomes.

Ann Carrington

PhD, BSW (Hons)
Senior Lecturer, Social Work, James Cook University

Dr Ann Carrington, Ph.D., BSW (Hons), is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work at JCU. Ann has worked in the field of domestic violence and sexual assault in either practice, teaching or research for 20 years. She developed the ‘Vortex of Violence’ practice model for working with women who have experienced domestic violence as published in the British Journal of Social Work. She continues to work in the area of domestic violence, violence against women, integrated responses and other social and gendered issues. She is currently working across a number of disciplines to integrate discipline specific domestic violence curriculum within undergraduate professional degrees. Ann has been involved in collaboratively designing, implementing and evaluating the award winning Dentists and Domestic Violence – Recognise, Respond and Refer program since its inception in 2015.

Colleen Gage

Community Educator, Cairns Regional Domestic Violence Service

Ms Colleen Gage is a highly experienced Community Educator with for Cairns Regional Domestic Violence Service. Colleen has dedicated almost 15 years to strengthening communities and empowering the most vulnerable members of our community. Spending the first 10 years of her career working with children and their families who have been involved with, or at risk of involvement with child protection, Colleen is well versed in the implications that domestic and family violence has on the community and in particular the women and children who have experienced domestic and family violence. Now, as a dedicated Community Educator she is dedicated to building strong and healthy communities through community education, training and awareness raising.

Event Pricing

ADA Member - FREE
ADA Practice Staff - FREE
Non-Member - FREE
Non-Member Practice Staff - FREE

CPD Points

1.5 Non-Scientific hours

By registering for this course, you agree to the events terms and conditions outlined on the ADAQ website. 
8/31/2021 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Online, QLD 4006 AUSTRALIA

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