Keeping Families Safe

The official announcement of the piloting of a new programme to address family violence in the state of Victoria, coinciding with the first Australian National Adolescent Violence in the Home conference, held this week in Melbourne, received significant coverage in the media. I reported on the project in a previous post of 13th February.

The Minister for Community Services issued a press release on February 11th announcing the launch of the programme as part of Victoria’s Action Plan to Address Violence Against Women and Children. The Keeping Families Safe programme was then covered in an article in the Frankston, Peninsula and Western Port Weeklies over the next few days and an article widely reported from Alex White of Herald Sun on February 18th, to name just a few.

ABC Radio National also covered the launch – with a reference to the conference – on their Life Matters programme, presented by Natasha Mitchell on February 18th. Natasha spoke with both Jo Howard, Manager of the Drug and Alcohol Program and Youth Services with Peninsula Health, and and Leanne Sinclair, the Family Violence Program Manager from Legal Aid Victoria.  The increase in reported instances of family violence was raised, and societal factors that might also indicate a real increase were suggested, along with examples of the type of abuse parents face, and their reaction. There was shock to hear that under-10s are also implicated in this as the age of onset gets lower. Leanne discussed the difficulties parents have in taking this up with the criminal justice system as well as the process of intervention orders.

There are two distinct aspects to the new family programme. The casework element looks at the context to the family’s experience of violence, while the 8 – 12 week group programme, based on the Step-Up model enables the young people to realise that thy do have control over their rage.

You can listen to a short clip below.

The whole 18 minute interview can be heard at the start of the programme.

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