A broader range of providers engaged in counselling services for perpetrators

In progress

Who is leading the change

  • Court Services Victoria

The Secretary of the Department of Justice and Regulation approve a broader range of service providers to provide counselling services to perpetrators who are subject to a counselling order issued by the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria under section 130 of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic). Such service providers should have expertise in the interplay between family violence and drug and alcohol misuse or mental illness, provided the purpose of the counselling remains within the scope of the statutory objectives of Part 5 of the Act.

  • The Magistrates’ Court of Victoria will run a 12-month innovative perpetrator intervention pilot in Ballarat  that will expand the range of programs offered to ensure more perpetrators are held accountable, connected and take responsibility for stopping their violence, as well as keeping more victim-survivors safe. 

    It is intended that the pilot program will: 

    • prioritise women and children’s safety and wellbeing
    • provide comprehensive assessment and intensive case management for perpetrators with complex needs, namely those with Alcohol and Other Drug use and/or mental illness
    • transition perpetrators into Men’s Behaviour Change Programs (MBCP) that address family violence and co-occurring issues, to support men to take responsibility for their choice to use violence and change their behaviour
    • generate evidence about family violence case management and the contribution of alcohol and other drug use and mental illness to perpetrator-driven risk in the context of family violence

    Legislative reform will allow for the new counselling service to be mandated.  

  • Legislative reform transferring power from the Secretary to the Chief Executive Officer of Court Services Victoria commenced on 29 March 2018.This was included in the Family Violence Protection Amendment Act 2017, which was introduced into Parliament on 7 March 2017 and passed on 10 May 2017. 

    Program design for the pilot has been completed work has progressed to operationalise the program design, including a focus on integrated service delivery, the development of Operational Guidance and practice tools including a response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, contract development for external counselling services, and the recruitment of specialist family violence practitioners. 

  • Forecast implementation date: 31 December 2020.

Reviewed 07 January 2021

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