It is a confronting reality that the majority of perpetrators of domestic and family violence are men. While some men’s advocacy groups suggest that males are under-represented in the statistics, our best research has found that one in six women and one in 20 men experience at least one incidence of violence from a current or former partner since the age of 15, and 75 percent of intimate partner homicides are female.
Given this, it is completely appropriate that the majority of responses to domestic and family violence have focused on supporting victims. In the main, services have focused on keeping victims safe and this has meant that most often women and children experiencing violence have had little choice but to leave their homes. This has led to domestic and family violence to becoming the leading cause of homelessness in Australia which has created additional layers of trauma, disadvantage, and need.
While there is a need for this to continue to be the predominant focus, there is also a need to work with people who have used controlling and violent behaviours, and provide a pathway for them to develop strategies to develop more positive relationships. While there has been some solid work supporting perpetrators to acknowledge and change their behaviours, there is still a need to do more work in this area. As such, it is a welcome development to see the Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS) launch a new program, Room4Change, a residential program to help men address their violence and controlling behaviours while their families are supported to stay at home.
Originally Published by The Riot Act, continue reading here.