New DV service a state-first for early perpetrator support

South Australians at-risk of perpetrating domestic violence and frontline workers who acknowledge someone needs support will be able to access new statewide service thanks to a $1.14 million injection by the Marshall Liberal Government.

The Statewide Perpetrator Response service will commence on 1 July, with the aim of bolstering early intervention services.

Following an open and competitive tender process, nationally renowned No to Violence will provide support, counselling and referral pathways for men seeking support for their behaviour.

For the first-time in SA, the service will also provide advice to frontline workers to respond to perpetrators and provide referrals to support. The service will also provide support for relatives, friends and victims of DV.

Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said intervening earlier will help end violence against women and children.

“For the first time, South Australia will fund a service that not only supports perpetrators themselves to change but also supports the case workers on the ground working with at-risk families every day,” said Minister Lensink.

“These frontline workers could also work with families on other issues such as gambling, mental health or substance abuse, and through their work identify or suspect the use of violence in the home.

“Under this new service, No to Violence can make one easy referral for the alleged perpetrator to get the help they need to change and will also be able to sign-up for specialist professional training to help them spot the signs of domestic, family and sexual violence.

“Ultimately, we want less perpetrators to slip through the cracks so we can put an end to utterly unacceptable violence and abuse.”

Assistant Minister for Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Carolyn Power said the service is an action out the Marshall Liberal Government’s Committed to Safety domestic and family violence framework.

“Currently in South Australia, services for perpetrators are mostly focused on those men already in the justice system – including men’s behaviour change programs and individual counselling,” said Mrs Power.

“It was important for South Australia to establish its own early support service for perpetrators to break the cycle so we can put an end to violence.

“This forward-thinking approach by the Marshall Liberal Government that supports South Australians into the future.”

No to Violence Chief Executive Officer Jacqui Watt said the service is free, confidential and staffed by highly experienced, tertiary-qualified counsellors.

“The Statewide Perpetrator Response is here to help. Anyone worried about their behaviour, or the behaviour of a friend of family member, can give us a call on 1300 766 491 to access free, confidential support,” said Ms Watt.

“We are excited to establish a South Australian office and share nearly 30 years’ experience of working directly with men who use violence.”

The Statewide Perpetrator Response service will commence on 1 July and share the same phone number as the existing Men’s Referral Service 1300 766 491.

Funding for the service was committed as part of the Marshall Liberal Government’s 2020-21 State Budget.

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