Develop a second residential men’s behaviour change program
- Western Australia
Fourth Action Plan actions
- Improve support and service system responses
- 18 Improve access to and embed trauma-informed support for perpetrators of domestic, family and sexual violence to prevent reoffending and promote rehabilitation and treatment.
What are we doing?
The Western Australian Government’s Path to Safety: Western Australia’s strategy to reduce family and domestic violence 2020-2030 includes a priority action to connect perpetrators with timely, evidence-based interventions to support accountability and behaviour change.
To increase service capacity in the state system a second residential male perpetrator program has been established in metropolitan Perth and is available to men throughout the State. Key components of the program are:
- a three-month residential program that provides intensive intervention;
- community-based outreach for men in the community and current or former clients of the residential program;
- advocacy for women and children including case management and safety planning;
- managing co-morbidities of clients such as mental health and substance misuse issues; and
- working closely with partner agencies.
The program is managed by Communicare.
What have we achieved so far?
The new service commenced operation in July 2019. Since commencement, the service has assisted a total of 51 men who have participated in the residential program. Nearly half of these men have identified themselves as Aboriginal.
As part of providing a holistic service, Communicare also provides an advocacy service to partners of their clients. Through this service, the Woman’s Advocate have engaged with 218 partners, ex-partners and spouses and developed 21 victim safety plans.
An evaluation report by Curtin University was finalised earlier this year on the Communicare run program, Breathing Space. The evaluation findings highlighted that the program made a positive difference to improve target behaviours.
What is next?
The men’s behaviour change program is an ongoing initiative.
Learnings from the program will contribute to the maturing evidence base on effective perpetrator interventions.
What difference will we make?
Effectively engaging perpetrators of family and domestic violence is a crucial component of all work targeted at managing risk and creating safety for adult and child victims; and for the overall reduction in the prevalence of violence in the community. The intended outcomes of this initiative are to improve the safety of women and children by:
- removing the perpetrator from the family home and providing support to child and adult victims to plan for their future safety (regardless of the outcome of the intervention program); and
- working with the perpetrator to be a safer partner and father through an intensive intervention program comprised of case management, individual and group counselling.