In this section:

Services for Male Perpetrators of domestic and family violence

Responsible government

  • New South Wales

Fourth Action Plan actions

  • Primary prevention is key
    • 3 Implement targeted primary prevention activities designed by, and tailored for, the specific communities they are intended to support.
  • Support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their children
    • 6 Value and engage the expertise of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and men, communities and organisations to lead in the creation and implementation of community-led solutions to build and manage change.
    • 8 Develop innovative and alternative models for victim and perpetrator support that contribute to safe healing and sustainable behaviour change.

What are we doing?

The NSW Government funds a number of initiatives aimed at male perpetrators of domestic and family violence.

The Men’s Telephone Counselling and Referral Service (MTCRS), which has been delivered in NSW since 2013, is a state-wide specialist service for male perpetrators of domestic and family violence. The MTCRS is available for men to call 24/7. Further, men who have been involved in a domestic violence incident where a charge has been laid or an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order issued or applied for, are automatically referred by NSW Police through the Automatic Referral Pathway (ARP) to the MTCRS.

Through the ARP men are offered over-the-phone counselling with an accredited counsellor, and information about their legal status and responsibilities. Men also receive referral information including how to access relevant and appropriate services to address identified needs, such as local Men’s Behaviour Change Programs (MBCPs).

MBCPs are predominantly group-based programs designed to achieve behavioural and attitudinal change among men who have used domestic and family violence. The principal priority is improving the safety of victim–survivors and their children. MBCPs provide:

  • Initial assessment, case planning and interagency work
  • Support from trained facilitators and counsellors
  • Support for victim–survivors through safety assessments and additional wrap-around domestic and family violence supports.

Since July 2015, the NSW Government has invested over $9.1 million to fund MBCPs.

What have we achieved so far?

Community based MBCPs are currently being delivered by 16 accredited NGO providers in NSW, at 42 locations funded by various Commonwealth Government, State Government and non-government funding sources. Of these, NSW Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) currently funds five providers, which are delivering programs where there is demand across 15 locations.

MBCP sector growth is supported by the delivery of a training and development strategy (by Education Centre Against Violence) funded by DCJ to provide;

  1. a more skilled and professional workforce
  2. and sector coordination and network support (by No to Violence) to provide sector leadership
  3. identify priority areas of work to determine best practice for the sector
  4. support the collection of evidence of the effectiveness of MBCP and
  5. development of specialist programs that meet the needs of priority groups and
  6. support for the sector to respond to the complex needs of victim – survivors and their children.

DCJ also funds the Strong Aboriginal Men project. This project works across a number of NSW communities, identifying and creating community-led solutions to address family violence.

Organisations that deliver MBCPs must be registered with DCJ as compliant with the NSW Practice Standards to receive funding or referrals from New South Wales Government agencies.

What is next?

Selected recommendations from the Review of Automatic Referral Pathway (ARP) program are currently being implemented to improve the program outcomes.

What difference will we make?

The MTCRS and MBCPs offer men the opportunity and space to understand their behaviours, develop awareness of their attitudes and use of violence and take responsibility for improving their relationships.

Participants in all services are supported to recognise that the change process is ongoing, and effort is needed to maintain positive outcomes.

Ultimately, these services aim to reduce reoffending and the escalation of violent behaviour, and keep victim–survivors and their children safe.

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