Hundreds of South Australian men have sought help to address their violent abusive behaviour through new fast-tracked domestic violence services backed by the Marshall Liberal Government during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The three newly funded initiatives – the 24/7 Men’s Referral Service hotline, the Don’t Become that Man program and support services being delivered by Kornar Winmil Yunti – received a total of $1.65 million as part of funding received from the Federal Government to tackle DV during the pandemic.
Up to January 31 2021, 514 men used the Don’t become that man program delivered by Community Transitions (which provides specialist counselling and support services) and men's programs from Aboriginal-led organisation Kornar Winmil Yunti (KWY).
The data for client contacts with these services shows:
- 80 per cent indicated they had no previous contact with the service
- 94 per cent were concerned about their own use of violence and/or abuse while six per cent were requesting information or supporter referral options for another person
- 94 per cent received counselling and/or crisis intervention services
- 13 per cent were aged under 24 years, 39 per cent were aged 25-34, 24 per cent were aged 35-44, and 20 per cent were aged 45 or over (the remaining four per cent did not disclose age)
- 60 per cent reside in metropolitan areas while 32 per cent reside in a regional location (the remaining eight per cent did not provide residential location).
In addition to the two locally based services, additional funding was provided last year to the national Men’s Referral Service hotline. It provides 24/7 telephone counselling, information, and referral to local services including as Community Transitions and KWY.
Data up to 31 January 2021 for the Men’s Referral Service hotline shows:
- 156 new contacts from South Australia
- calls to the hotline ranged in time from two minutes to over an hour and a half
- in many cases, contact continued with clients after the initial call or callers were referred to local services for further treatment.
Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said the Marshall Liberal Government is doing more to support at-risk women, their children and perpetrators than ever before.
“If we want women and children to be free from violence, the onus is on men to take responsibility and change their behaviour and that’s why our new perpetrator services are so important,” said Minister Lensink.
“Providing support to perpetrator early intervention not only helps men but it aims to keep women and children safe too.
“As a Government, we are sending a strong message to perpetrators to stop and get the support they need and as a community, we all have a responsibility to ensure all violence ends and the next generation grows up to respect women.
“I urge any man who is concerned about his behaviour, or partners and family members who are concerned, to take up the offer of support and get help to change before harm is done.”
Assistant Minister for Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Carolyn Power said the Marshall Liberal Government had responded to calls from domestic violence front-line services to fast-track additional help and support services for perpetrators.
“We know that to effectively address domestic, family and sexual violence in our communities and in our homes, it is important that men have support to understand their behaviour and take steps to make positive changes,” said Mrs Power.
“These men, many of whom are young men, have received immediate assistance and if they are willing, they can receive long-term support to stop the cycle of violence before it’s too late.
“So it is very encouraging to see that the $1.65 million funding boost has, so far, helped support hundreds of South Australian men who have asked for help about their behaviour.”
24/7 Men’s Referral Service: 1300 766 491
Don’t Become that Man: 1300 24 34 13 (8am-8pm)
KWY: (08) 8377 7822 (9am-5pm, Monday to Friday)
DV Crisis Line: 1800 800 098
For more information on domestic violence and how to get help in South Australia, visit www.breakthecycle.sa.gov.au.