A locally-developed initiative to reduce domestic violence across the Mid North Coast has received a $1.5 million grant from the NSW Domestic and Family Violence Innovation Fund, announced by NSW Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Pru Goward today.
The ‘Fixed Address’ program seeks to directly engage with men perpetrating violence in order to increase safety and reduce homelessness among women and their children.
The funding was awarded to a Consortium made up of Kempsey Families Inc, Port Macquarie Hastings Domestic and Family Violence Specialist Service and Warrina Domestic and Family Violence Specialist Services, who have worked together for more than 30 years.
Executive Officer of the Consortium’s lead agency, Kempsey Families Inc, June Wilson, said rates of domestic violence recurrence and incarceration continue to grow.
“If we want to stop domestic violence against women and children, we need to concentrate on working with the men who perpetrate it,” Ms Wilson said.
“This program explores new ways to engage men in respectful, targeted ways that aim to decrease the risk to women and children, and reduce the burden on the homelessness sector.
“Fixed Address involves prevention, early intervention and crisis response. It will provide case management, transitional housing and a multitude of support services that men require in their journey to non-violence.
“Through early intervention we can respond in innovative ways to new cases of violence, while also reducing longer-term recurrence by intervening and changing perpetrator behaviour,” Ms Wilson said.
The Fixed Address program addresses the aims of the NSW Domestic and Family Violence Blueprint for Reform 2016-2021 of holding perpetrators accountable, reducing ADVO breaches, expanding men’s behavioural change interventions, and providing accommodation for perpetrators to reduce immediate reoffending.
Men seeking to change their violent behaviour can access the program directly or be referred by external agencies, court processes, partners or family.
The program is scalable by design and has the potential to be applied across a diverse range of locations, communities and settings.