Content warning: discussion of family violence.
A number of men’s behaviour change programs for perpetrators of domestic and family violence are being run across the country. These programs differ significantly to ‘anger management’ courses, as men’s behaviour change programs deal specifically with the issue of domestic violence and invite men to explore their own behaviour and move towards non-violence and safe, respectful relationships.
One of the key objectives of men’s behaviour change programs is to help participants understand that violence is a choice, and that they are accountable for the choice to be abusive and the harm that results.
Research shows that a third of men who attend these kinds of programs will make significant and long-term changes, a third of men will make some change and a third of men will make no change at all.
Work with men who use violence and abuse can be considered high risk, controversial, and like all family violence work, hopelessly underfunded. However, without these kind of programs, family violence is unlikely to stop and may also be perpetuated into the next generation.
Men’s behaviour change programs, like the rest of the frontline support system, are chronically underfunded with men having to wait around three months for an assessment and then six months to attend a voluntary program. There are also programs for boys who display violent and abusive behaviours, or for prison inmates who are incarcerated for less than six months.
PRAY ABOUT IT
God, we give you thanks that nothing is impossible with you, and that you open the door for repentance and forgiveness in the costly loving death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
Today, we lift to you, all those who want to change. We pray for men who have learned to use violence to exert power and control over their partners and children, and who are attempting to change themselves and transform their relationships through Men’s Behaviour Change programs. May your Spirit work within them to bring repentance and healing and a deep and genuine change in the way they treat others.
May they yield to your justice, placing themselves in positions where they can encounter sources of support and accountability as a means of practically working out this repentance and change. We pray for the counsellors and programs which seek to help those men - for strength, wisdom and more resourcing for this important work.
What role can men play in ending violence against women and their children?
Read this informative article about men’s behaviour change programs.
‘Real Men do Hit Women: the violence at the heart of masculinity’
MRS provides anonymous and confidential telephone counselling, information and referrals to men to help them take action to stop using violent and controlling behaviour. Call: 1300 766 491 or visit www.mrs.org.au