Further investment in innovative family, domestic and sexual violence responses

A new initiative to strengthen earlier intervention with men who choose to use violence will be trialled in five locations across Western Australia.

The initiative, funded by the Commonwealth, will trial a program to evaluate pro-active engagement with men who have used violence, following notification from police that they have been called to an incident of family and domestic violence.

Men who choose to use violence will be assessed for future risk of violent offending and offered case management and interventions.

This may include counselling, aimed at reducing or managing their use of coercive, controlling, and violent behaviours.

The project, awarded to Communicare, is part of the $3.3 million in funding being provided to the Western Australian Government under the Australian Government’s Innovative Perpetrator Responses initiative.

The trial will see new men's workers partner with the Family and Domestic Violence Response Teams (FDVRT) in Northam, Bunbury, Midland, Joondalup and Fremantle over the next three years to engage male perpetrators.

Communicare will provide interventions and individual sessions based on the perpetrator’s use of violence and patterns of offending, offering tools and strategies to support them to make positive changes in their lives.

The trial aims to improve responses to perpetrators, reduce reoffending and improve victim-survivor safety.

An evaluation will be undertaken.

Comments attributable to Federal Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth:

"Addressing the rates of family, domestic and sexual violence has been one of my top priorities since becoming Minister for Social Services. I’m proud to fund the rollout of the Innovative Perpetrator Responses program, which has begun in several areas cross Australia and will now commence this trial in Western Australia,” Minister Rishworth said.

“The funding for this comes under the National Partnership Agreement on Family, Domestic, and Sexual Violence Responses 2021-2027 – which the previous Coalition government allocated no funding to beyond July last year.

“Our Government is committed to preventing and eliminating all forms of gender-based violence. This program aims to do just that by addressing perpetrator behaviours.

“The program will hold perpetrators to account, prevent them from reoffending, and improve victim-survivors’ healing journey and safety."

Comments attributable to the Federal Assistant Minister for Social Services and Federal Assistant Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Justine Elliot:

"In order to eliminate family, domestic and sexual violence from our communities we need to prevent, intervene, respond, and help improve recovery and healing for victim-survivors.

“A key part of that lies in understanding the drivers behind perpetrator behaviour and how we as communities and individuals can address them. Through this trial, we aim to do just that.

“We look forward to continuing our work with the Western Australian Government to address and eliminate all gender-based violence.”

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

“Family and domestic violence is unacceptable.

“Men who choose to use violence in their relationships must be held accountable for this behaviour and be provided tools and strategies to change their behaviour. There is no excuse.

"To stop family and domestic violence, we need to work with men who choose to use violence to have them take responsibility for their actions and seek help.

"By introducing this innovative perpetrator response alongside our Family and Domestic Violence Response Teams, we are building on a strong foundation of coordinated service delivery, adding expertise and direct intervention with men who choose to use violence.

“Communicare is well-positioned to deliver this trial, as they are experienced in working with men who use violence.

“I look forward to working with Communicare on a new way of operating to help stop family and domestic violence and improve safety for victim-survivors."