Sun. May 26th, 2024

Violent men seeking help waiting months for services, compromising safety of women

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May11,2024
Key Points
  • Around 480 men are on a waitlist in NSW for behavioural change programs.
  • Service providers say they can’t keep up with demand to help violent men.
  • A NSW minister says the family violence prevention sector is chronically underfunded.
Men’s behavioural change programs are identified as a key service perpetrators should access as part of the 10-year national plan to end violence against women and children.
But service providers working with violent men say they cannot keep up with current demand.

No to Violence, which runs the national Men’s Referral Service, estimates about 480 men are currently on waitlists in NSW alone.

Wait times average three to five months.
“Fifty per cent of these men are still in relationships,” chief executive Phillip Ripper told the Australian Associated Press.
The programs are predominantly group-based and focus on enabling men to recognise their violent behaviour and develop strategies to stop them from using violence.

Some men put up their hand voluntarily while others with worrying behaviour are referred by courts or other authorities.

Men and women at a domestic violence rally

The family of Kristy Armstrong during a rally against gendered violence at Robertson Park in Orange, central west NSW. Source: AAP / Stephanie Gardiner

Ripper said a lot of men seeking help did so at a moment of crisis, adding he was aware of a Victorian provider who had five men die by suicide while on waiting lists.

Relationships Australia NSW said most of the men coming to its four services had noticed their own behaviour, been referred by a relative or intimate partner or had otherwise come voluntarily.
Its waitlist was 245 on Wednesday.
“We say we want men to be accountable — well, we have 245 men putting up their hands saying they’re concerned about their use of violence,” chief executive Elisabeth Shaw told AAP.

Other providers say regional clients face round trips of up to five hours per appointment due to poor access.

No to Violence estimates clearing waitlists, filling location gaps and raising all services to best practice would cost NSW an extra $15.2 million a year.
NSW Domestic Violence Prevention Minister Jodie Harrison conceded pockets of her state had no access to men’s behavioural change programs.

She said all options would be considered on Friday at a state cabinet meeting centred on family violence measures.

Ripper said governments of all stripes had chronically underfunded the family violence prevention sector, despite it permeating child protection, homelessness and many other sectors.
No to Violence revealed on Wednesday the Magistrates Court of Victoria will cease funding for its court-mandated counselling order program with no clear plans on what it will be replaced with from 1 July.
The court said the program did not cater for substantial parts of the community with its stringent entry requirements, and only about 4 per cent of people subject to family violence orders received counselling orders.
Of them, fewer than half followed through on the orders.
The court was considering alternative programs.
If you or someone you know is impacted by family and domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732, text 0458 737 732, or visit . In an emergency, call 000.
, operated by No to Violence, can be contacted on 1300 766 491.
Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “Violent men seeking help waiting months for services, compromising safety of women”
  1. As a survivor of domestic violence, I believe it’s crucial to provide timely support for men seeking help to change their violent behavior. The systemic underfunding of family violence prevention services puts both men and women at risk. It’s unacceptable that men in crisis have to wait months for assistance, potentially endangering the safety of their partners.

  2. Are there any plans to increase funding for these crucial programs to reduce the wait times and provide support to violent men sooner?

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