New culturally safe program to stop family violence

New culturally safe program to stop family violence

Wungening Aboriginal Corporation and Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Service are leading the way in addressing family and domestic violence in Western Australia. 

In partnership with Stopping Family Violence Inc – the WA peak body for men’s behaviour change programs – the development of a new culturally informed men’s behaviour change program will address family, domestic and sexual violence through culturally safe responses that are tailored to local community and cultural needs. 

The WA project aims to increase workforce capacity and develop a service model for responding to men where a family is already engaged with the service provider. It will support a more holistic approach to working in a culturally competent way with people who use violence. The initiative will increase access to culturally sensitive help to change behaviour.

The $500,000 project is part of the $3.4 million in funding being provided to the Western Australian Government under the Australian Government’s Innovative Perpetrator Responses initiative.

By developing new service approaches with perpetrators of family and domestic violence, the Innovative Perpetrator Responses initiative is aimed at holding perpetrators of all cultural backgrounds to account, preventing them from reoffending and improving victim safety.

This initiative is aligned to the shared commitment of the Australian and West Australian governments to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan under the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-32, and aligned also to the Western Australia Aboriginal Family Safety Strategy 2022-2032. 

Comments attributable to Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth:

“I want to acknowledge the strength within First Nations communities and the importance of family and culture. Our Government is proud to partner with the WA government to ensure that we continue to support new approaches to work with perpetrators of family, domestic, and sexual violence, in culturally safe, trauma informed and community-led ways,” Minister Rishworth said. 

“It is vital that we have culturally safe programs in place to meet and respond to the specific needs of First Nations families and communities.

“Under the First Action Plan of the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032, all levels of government have committed to strengthen systems and services to change the behaviours of perpetrators with the aim of protecting the safety and well-being of victim-survivors”. 

Comments attributable to Assistant Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Justine Elliot:

“Our Government is proud to fund projects like this under the Innovative Perpetrator Responses program and the National Partnership on Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence Responses 2021-2027,” Assistant Minister Elliot said. 

“Through these trials, Australia is addressing perpetrator behaviour, holding men accountable, and taking steps to end violence against women and children in this country”. 

Comments attributable to Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Sabine Winton:

“Violence against partners or family members is unacceptable, and perpetrators should always be held accountable. There is no excuse for violence,” Minister Winton said. 

“To keep women and children safe from family and domestic violence, it is vital that men who choose to use violence are held to account through early support to seek the help and strategies they need to change their behaviour.

"This project will trial new ways to address family and domestic violence through culturally safe intervention responses.

“It is essential that we do all we can to hold perpetrators to account, assist them in addressing their behaviours and prevent them from reoffending to improve safety for women and children.

“The WA Government is committed to working with the Commonwealth Government through the National Partnership Agreement to trial innovative approaches to address family and domestic violence perpetrator behaviour”. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, domestic, family or sexual violence call 1800RESPECT on 0458 737 732, chat online via or text 0458 737 732.  

If you are concerned about your behaviour or use of violence, you can contact the Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491 or visit

Feeling worried or no good? No shame, no judgement, safe place to yarn. Speak to a 13YARN Crisis Supporter, call 13 92 76. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.