URGENT CALL FOR NATIONAL INITIATIVE TO LEAD INTERVENTIONS WITH MEN USING FAMILY VIOLENCE

Everyone living in Australia has the right to a safe and happy home and family life that supports them to thrive.

The federal government’s National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010 – 2022 has laid out a vision for an Australia free of family violence, through connecting all the crucial work being undertaken by governments, community organisations and individuals. Large scale reform has required a high level of investment from both the states and territories and the Commonwealth. It is clear from sector partners and independent monitoring that a coordinated approach to investment in implementation is essential, to optimise investment and outcomes, reduce duplication and ensure measurement is evidence based, consistent and competent.

Significant disparity between investment levels and approaches in each state and territory and a lack of resources to complement the work of bodies like ANROWS means that many Australian communities are falling through the cracks. Added to this, a lack of ongoing national coordination and collaboration means that many lessons are not being shared across state and territory lines and research outcomes are not being translated into practice by the sector.

As we approach the 4th and final Action Plan, a stronger and more coordinated national initiative is essential to provide the leadership required to address Priority Four: improving perpetrator interventions to tackle family and sexual violence directly.

Family violence and sexual assault cannot end until the men who use violence change their beliefs, attitudes, behaviour and choices. For 25 years, No to Violence has been working with men who use family violence in Victoria, NSW, Tasmania and nationally in a range of innovative interventions. The safety of partners, women and children is central to our work – to protect them and allow them to have happier, safer, more fulfilled lives.

Our expertise in understanding the beliefs, attitudes, behaviour and choices of men who use family violence has enabled us to develop internationally-recognised behaviour change standards, programs and workforce training.

A collaborative national approach to workforce development, capacity building and training is critical if we are to meet the rising demand in families affected by violence, ensure the success of family violence reforms and to engage with the cause of family violence at its source. It is time now to ensure that workforce development and standards are applied consistently and thoroughly amongst practitioners, to ensure Australia has the competent workforce required to engage with men using violence.

No to Violence seeks the support of the federal Government to lead a national initiative for working with men to end their use of family and sexual violence. In this role No to Violence is best positioned to lead on the implementation of effective, consistent and coordinated Australia-wide interventions to end men’s use of violence against women and children.

No to Violence has proposed a model for this national leadership. The attached brief outlines the outcomes we hope to achieve. Together, we can create a community where all families can live in harmony and safety.

I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this proposal further with you, and can be contacted via JacquiW@ntv.org.au or on 0429 030 318. Our Director of Practice and Learning, Jackson Fairchild, is also available via JacksonF@ntv.org.au or on 0498 016 899.

Yours sincerely

Jacqui Watt
Chief Executive Officer
No to Violence