Fourth Action Plan to address family violence risks failing victims

The Federal Government’s Fourth Action Plan on family violence risks failing the women and children it aims to protect due to the apparent lack of funding to strengthen and expand the programs and interventions for men who use family violence, according to the nation’s peak body for organisations and individuals working to end men’s family violence.

For 25 years, No to Violence has been working at the frontline with men who use violence and power to control others, so they take responsibility for the harm they cause and understand they can choose to behave differently.

Today, CEO Jacqui Watt said while she was encouraged to see the issue of family violence remained on the national agenda, it was disappointing no new funding to strengthen and expand programs for men’s behaviour change was announced when the Fourth Action Plan was unveiled at today’s Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting.

“As the experts in dealing with men who use violence, No to Violence believes it is only through increased engagement and intervention with men that we can contribute to the safety of women and children,” Ms Watt said.

No to Violence recommends a clear and continued focus on expanding and diversifying the range of interventions offered through the men’s specialist family violence sector.

“While we are pleased the Federal Government’s Fourth – and final – Action Plan recognises the critical importance of working directly with men, we were perplexed there does not appear to any specific additional funds or resources to ensure these interventions can take place.

“We know from our work that men who use violence are capable of reflection and change that benefit their families and their own lives. Our practice support men to make this change.

“We urge the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison and his colleagues to review the evidence: that it is only by working directly with men to end their violence that we can contribute to happier, safer and more fulfilled lives of women and children.”