In this section:

Room4Change program

Responsible government

  • Australian Capital Territory

Fourth Action Plan actions

  • Improve support and service system responses
    • 16 Enable workforces to provide trauma-informed support with a focus on safety and recovery to victims and survivors of domestic, family and sexual violence.
    • 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 ACT Government is providing $1.229 million in 2021-22 to fund the continuation of Room4Change, a 9-12 month therapeutic residential men’s behaviour change program that provides an early intervention response to domestic and family violence. The program consists of one-on-one case management, group work and residential accommodation, to stop men’s use of violence and controlling behaviours and build healthy, respectful relationships. Room4Change is delivered in partnership with Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS), ACT’s specialist domestic and family violence organisation.

What have we achieved so far?

Room4Change commenced service delivery on 1 April 2017 and has been fully operational since July 2018. The funding commitment includes a full independent evaluation by the Australian National University.

In 2020-21, 66 men engaged with Room4Change. Further, 64 partners and ex-partners consented to partner support, who collectively had a total of 118 children under the age of 18 in their care. During this period eight men received accommodation-based support. In 2020-21, Room4Change delivered the following groups:

    • Caring Dads, a 17-week group in which 8 men have engaged; and
    • Duluth men’s behaviour change group. This has an open rolling format with multiple service offerings (offered two to three times weekly) over a 30-week period, in the past year 48 men have engaged.

What is next?

The independent evaluation of Room4Change was released in October 2021. The evaluation provides evidence that the program is well-implemented and has successfully activated a number of key cognitive and behavioural mechanisms that serve as the foundation for change. The Government will consider the evidence provided in this evaluation when identifying and allocating ongoing resourcing for perpetrator interventions.

What difference will we make?

The intended outcomes of Room4Change are:

  • in the immediate term, to bring safety and stability for those impacted by violence; and
  • in the medium-term impact, the program goal is to provide space and supports for men to commencelonger term behavioural change and improve
    safety for women and their families. This aims to build safer communities.

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