Violence Free Families (25.6.2015)
Written on the 29 June 2015
25 June 2015
GEORGIE CROZIER (LIB - Southern Metropolitan)
Whilst all of us continue to be appalled by family violence deaths and the long-term damage that family violence does, I am pleased that there are commitments from governments of all persuasions to tackle the issue. In Victoria we have the royal commission, the federal government is addressing family violence through the Council of Australian Governments, and right across the state community groups are identifying family violence as having a major impact and working with local government. I commend all governments for their efforts in doing what they can to address the issue.
Community attitudes must change if we are to make real change, because family violence is completely unacceptable at any time and in any place, and while I commend governments for doing what they are doing, there are many local organisations that are working within their own communities. They are identifying the problems, addressing the cultural concerns and working with schools, sporting clubs, authorities and voluntary organisations to provide the support and programs within their own local communities.One such initiative I would particularly like to highlight is an online behaviour change program developed by Violence Free Families. It is such a simple concept that has been trialled and evaluated by the University of Melbourne. It has received great support from the philanthropic sector. It is the only program that caters for a group of men who are unable or unwilling to attend face-to-face programs. These are men who are perhaps shiftworkers and who are unable to access a program because there are none available, especially in rural or regional Victoria, or because they are too ashamed to present to a conventional men's behaviour change program. This program provides great support not only to men but also to women and children subject to family violence This is exactly the sort of initiative that does not need the conclusion of the royal commission. It needs government support, and it needs it now.