Perpetrators of family violence are waiting up to 40 weeks to enter programs aimed at changing violence and abusive behaviour, according to a recent survey of providers of Men’s Behaviour Change Programs.
No to Violence, Australia’s largest peak body for services that work with men who use violence and abuse and provider of the Men’s Referral Service (1300 766 491), recently conducted a telephone survey of services operating Men’s Behaviour Change Programs.
Alarmingly, it found:
· the average wait time for a Men’s Behaviour Change Program is two and half months;
· the longest wait time from survey respondents was 40 weeks; and
· around 30 per cent of programs remain closed due to physical distancing restrictions.
“These results show there is a strong demand for services that support people who use violence to be the man they want to be”, said Jacqui Watt, Chief Executive Officer of No to Violence.
“It takes a lot of strength for a man to reach out to a service to want to change their abusive and violent behaviour. To have to wait up to 40 weeks, after making that huge step forward, really presents a risk to these men, and importantly their partners, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends and families.
“If you are ready to reach out for support, or feel like you at a high risk of being violent, stop. We can help if you give us a call on 1300 766 491 or have a chat online “.
Thanks to six-month funding by the Commonwealth Government, No to Violence’s Men’s Referral Service has now established a brief intervention service providing multiple telephone counselling sessions for men who use violence to keep them engaged in the system while waiting for a spot on a behaviour change program.
The funding also will enable No to Violence to offer training across the family and domestic violence sector around working remotely with men who use violence, expanding the ability to provide services during physical distancing.
Organisations surveyed were primarily based in Victoria and New South Wales. No to Violence intends to continue this monitoring, and is looking to partner with organisations and peak bodies in other states and territories to make sure we have the most up to date information.