Media release: New help for young men to prevent domestic violence

Media release: New help for young men to prevent domestic violence

Young men who have been violent towards their own partners and families or who are at risk of becoming violent will get help to turn their behaviour around under two new Marshall Liberal Government early intervention programs.

The KIND and Young Men and Young Fathers programs will target young men in the youth justice system and young men who have children of their own.

These programs are in addition to Marshall Liberal Government perpetrator support programs including a state-first perpetrator bed pilot program and state-first funding for the 24/7 Men’s Referral Service hotline and new support services for men.

Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said the innovative programs specifically target young men and young fathers, with the ultimate aim of protecting the safety of women and children.

“Family violence is a complex, community-wide issue and finding ways to improve the safety of our women and children is a Marshall Liberal Government priority,” said Minister Lensink.

“To achieve this, we need programs that work with young men to prevent family violence – not just deal with its devastating aftermath.

“The Marshall Liberal Government is spending record funding on new domestic violence support and prevention measures for at-risk women and children, men and perpetrators, which shows just how serious we are at tackling the insidious scourge of violence and abuse across our state.”

The new KIND program for young men is run by the Department of Human Services and works with young men in the youth justice system and their partners or families to improve relationships, interpersonal skills and accountability.

Participants will receive continued support as they transition in and out of the justice system. A senior family violence therapist will deliver intensive therapy sessions and workshops for both with the young men – and their partners and families – with an end goal of creating healthier relationships.

The program rollout follows a successful earlier trial with eight families over a seven-month period. While young men aged 13-to-19 are the primary targets, the program will also accept referrals for young women engaged in violent behaviours.

A second Young Men and Youth Fathers program run through the Metropolitan Youth Health (MYH) division of the Women’s and Children’s Health Network is helping young men who have children of their own.

Social workers will help young men address complex underlying issues, including parenting values and their behaviour.

The program, which will run throughout 2021, is already helping young men across Adelaide, delivered from locations at Angle Park and Elizabeth, with flexible outreach options on offer. The program team also works with the women and children on the receiving end of violence, ensuring they are safe and supported.

Assistant Minister for Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Carolyn Power said the Marshall Liberal Government had heard loud and clear from the domestic violence sector and the broader community a need to fund perpetrator support services.

“Prevention of violence is absolutely key to keeping more South Australians safe,” said Mrs Power.

“We are working to break the cycle of domestic abuse and it is important that men have support to understand their behaviour and take steps to make positive changes.

“Through these two new programs we’re providing the support for our young South Australian men and providing them with valuable coping tools that they can take through their lives.

“Most importantly, these programs aim to reduce violence and create safe and respectful relationships.

“Our number one priority as a Government is to ensure women and their children feel safe on our streets and in their homes, and this is just one of our many initiates to help achieve this.”

Both new programs were made possible thanks to a Federal Government funding injection to help at-risk South Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of $250,000 is committed so the programs can run for 12 months.