The Minister for Women, Pru Goward, announced today that the NSW government will be putting money towards funding the first telephone counselling service for men in NSW. The telephone and referral service will be aimed at men who are violent or potentially violent to help them to change their behaviour and to help curb instances of domestic violence.
The service will be a 24 hour toll free number and it will be maintained by trained counsellors to aid men in taking responsibility for their own violent behaviour and to stop them from committing domestic violence acts on their families. The counsellors will also assist in helping callers by forwarding them to other counselling support programs or legal services for longer term support.
The counselors efforts will not only focus on the men themselves. The counsellors will also be trained in aiding family members of the man that might call in so that they can get some assistance as well. That way the entire family can be treated and so that the focus is no longer only on the victims but that the man involved is also held responsible for his actions. Family members can then rest assured that everyone will get the help that they need to so that with treatment they will no longer have to return to the same old patterns of abuse.
This phone line will be maintained by the service “No to Violence” which has been producing telephone services for men for over 20 years.
They claim that their services have been very successful in aiding men with violence problems and reducing the instances of domestic violence in Victoria.
The NSW Government has awarded delivery of the service to Men’s Referral Service Inc., managed by the non-government organisation, ‘No To Violence’, who have more than 20 years experience in managing men’s referral services interstate.
The entire program will be monitored and maintained by “No to Violence” and the counsellors will also be trained under the guidance of the organisation so that they can provide top quality counselling to people that call in.
The initiative will make it possible to provide support to men state wide and will also include counsellors that can provide services to a diverse number of groups including Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and other cultural groups. They will also be able to address people that call in several languages in order to account for the cultural differences and to help people of all different backgrounds. The group says that they will have trained native staff that can work with people of the culture to provide services in their native languages. The initiative will also make it possible to address the perpetrators of the domestic violence instead of the victims which is where the focus is usually placed when it comes to domestic violence intervention. This service will be rolled out shortly and the public can give their input starting now on this new service.