The evidence base

Specialist fathering interventions targeting men who use family violence


Kildonan UnitingCare: Fathering without Violence – Fathering group program for men who have completed a minimum of 6 sessions of Kildonan’s men’s behaviour change program.

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Relationships Australia Victoria: Repair-enting – Group program for fathers who have completed a men’s behaviour change program and want to strengthen or repair their relationships with their children.

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Star Health: Dads about kids – Fathering group program for men who have completed a men’s behaviour change program.

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ReGen, Child Protection Society, Anglicare Victoria, IPC Health: Caring Dads – Group program for fathers who have neglected, physically or emotionally abused, or exposed their children to family violence.

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Child Safety Service Centres: Walking with Dads – Individualised approach to working with fathers in Caboolture, Caloundra, Gympie and Mount Isa. The model also supports mothers, draws on the Safe and TogetherTM model of intervention (Safe and Together Institute) and has the potential to prepare fathers for specific perpetrator interventions.

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If you run a specialist fathering program please get in touch

Perpetrator interventions in Australia

Fathers who use violence: Options for safe practice where there is ongoing contact with children

This paper responds to a challenge that has continued to frustrate workers attempting to intervene to support women and children living with DFV. This is, namely, that the DFV intervention system is structured around women and their children separating from men who use violence. This is a pattern of working developed in both the specialist women’s DFV sector, as well as statutory child protection. However, many women and children may not be in a position to separate from their abusive and violent partners, and some women and children’s wellbeing and safety may not be enhanced by separation.
Fathers who use violence: Options for safe practice where there is ongoing contact with children
Australian Institute of Family Studies, Child Family Community Australia, June 2017

Pathways towards accountability

This report provides a high level overview of the pathways that perpetrators of family violence in Victoria can take as the service system becomes aware of their behaviour. This was commissioned by the Department of Premier and Cabinet to support acquittal of Recommendation 85 of the Royal Commission into Family Violence and to inform Victoria’s 10 Year Plan for Change. The report identifies six of the many parts of the service system that have contact with perpetrators of family violence and provides a foundation for further work to map the roles and responsibilities of different parts of the system.
Pathways towards accountability: mapping the journey of perpetrators of family violence – Phase 1.
RMIT Centre for Innovative Justice, November 2016.

Impacts of attending men’s behaviour change programs

This paper is the first large-scale longitudinal study in Australia tracking reduction of violence outcomes following participation in a Men’s Behaviour Change Program (MBCP). The study explores outcomes for men who completed and did not complete the program, and makes comparisons between participants who were court ordered into the program with those who were not. Violence perpetration is measured across 15 items and finds a reduction in violence by half across all 15 items immediately following program participation. After 2 years 65% of men who had completed a program were either violence free or almost violence free.
A Study of the Impact on Men and Their Partners in the Short Term and in the Long Term of Attending Men’s Behaviour Change Programs.
Monash University, Department of Social Work, 2016.

Project Mirabal

This paper explores the complexities of working with men with multiple trauma histories who have used violence against their family members. The paper encourages practitioners to fully listen to the stories of their CALD clients and encourages practitioners to critically reflect on their own boundaries to being able to do so. The paper then explores the clinical challenges involved in supporting clients with complex trauma histories while also attending to the safety of all family members.
‘Responding to Refugees Affected by Domestic and Sexual Violence: Working with Men’, in Improving Responses to Refugees with Backgrounds of Multiple Trauma.
Australian Domestic & Family Violence Clearinghouse, 2013.

ANROWS, November 2015

These papers map the pathways and interventions for perpetrators of domestic/family violence and sexual assault through civil and criminal legal systems; and examine the responses and service systems currently available to DFV and sexual assault perpetrators in each Australian jurisdiction. The papers find there is a need for extensive further research on what works and for whom in the Australian context. Four key areas for further investigation were identified: 1) systems effectiveness; 2) effectiveness of interventions; 3) models to address diversity of perpetrators; and 4) interventions developed by, with, and for Indigenous communities.

Perpetrator interventions in Australia: Part one – Literature review
ANROWS, November 2015

Perpetrator interventions in Australia: Part two – pathways and mapping
ANROWS, November 2015

Opportunities for early intervention

RMIT Centre for Innovative Justice, March 2015

A thorough review of Australian and international innovation in work with family and domestic violence perpetrators through the justice system. “Until we adjust the lens and bring those who use violence and coercion more clearly into view − until we intervene at the source of the problem − the cycle of this violence will simply roll on.”

Opportunities for early intervention: bringing perpetrators of family violence into view
RMIT Centre for Innovative Justice, March 2015