Domestic violence expert encourages action on latest podcast episode

Blacktown Hospital forensic medical unit head Dr Maria Nittis (left) with forensic nurse examiner Mandy Eagles and nurse unit manager Carey Day.

No-one in the health system will judge you for seeking help. Everyone has the right to feel safe in their own home.

Those are the words of Dr Maria Nittis as she speaks candidly about domestic violence (DV) and the support available in the latest episode of Western Sydney Health Check.

Maria is the department head of Blacktown Hospital’s forensic medical unit, a service that documents the injuries of victims and helps them access legal and social support.

She reveals that DV is rising within Western Sydney during the COVID-19 pandemic, and can take many forms including physical, verbal, emotional or financial abuse and social isolation.

Maria encourages anyone experiencing or witnessing any form of family violence to seek professional help from specialised support services.

Blacktown Hospital has a dedicated DV team who work with NSW Police to provide advice and support from specialised counsellors. The service can be contacted from Monday – Friday on 9881 7752.

24/7 domestic violence support is available by calling 1800 65 64 63 or 1800 RESPECT.

Listen to the episode here and also catch up on previous episodes here.