In this section:

Services for Male Perpetrators

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 MTCRS, men are offered over-the-phone counselling with an accredited counsellor, and, if appropriate, given information about their legal status and responsibilities. Men also receive information and referrals to relevant and appropriate support 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?

Currently, six non-government organisations (NGOs) deliver community-based MBCPs in 25 sites across NSW. Other MBCPs, delivered in an additional 13 sites across NSW, use Commonwealth or private funding.

Two MBCPs in Western NSW and the Hunter region have been trialling delivery of programs in collaboration with local Aboriginal organisations, to deliver culturally appropriate perpetrator interventions and support to (ex)partners and their children. Accredited staff work alongside local staff to gain accreditation. A best practice guide for the delivery of culturally appropriate programs for Aboriginal men is being developed as part of the Men’s Behaviour Change Sector Coordinator.

Both new and existing NGOs have completed the registration process to be compliant with the NSW Men’s Behaviour Change Programs Practice Standards. MBCPs must be registered as compliant with the Practice Standards in order to receive funding or referrals from the NSW Government

What is next?

Currently WNSW is undertaking a review of the Automatic Referral Pathway (ARP) to the MTCRS to inform decisions about how to improve service delivery for men who use violence in their intimate and family relationships.

The NSW Education Centre Against Violence has been funded to deliver the Strong Aboriginal Men (SAM) Leadership Program in 2020 – 2021. The program will encourage participants to become influencers and leaders, and build leadership capacity across Aboriginal communities by establishing a NSW SAM Leadership and Advisory Group facilitated by Aboriginal men for Aboriginal men which aims to support Aboriginal men to have a voice around the safety, health and wellbeing of themselves, their families and their communities.

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 both 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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