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A broader range of providers engaged in counselling services for perpetrators


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 2008External Link (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 VictoriaExternal Link 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 reforms have been completed transferring power from the Secretary of the Department of Justice and Community SafetyExternal Link to the Chief Executive Officer of Court Services Victoria (CSV)External Link to approve service providers for counselling services.

    The Court Mandated Counselling Order Program commenced from 1 January 2020 and has seen in excess of 700 men referred to approved counselling services across five Specialist Family Violence Court (SFVC)External Link locations. Service providers contracted by CSV now have a broader skill set to work with people who use family violence. Initiatives have also been introduced to ensure the delivery of culturally safe and appropriate programs are delivered to court-ordered respondents and more people who use violence have access to appropriate counselling services.

    The Magistrates’ Court of VictoriaExternal Link has commenced the Integrated Counselling and Case Management (ICCM) Program, an innovative perpetrator intervention pilot at Ballarat SFVC. This program will expand the range of services offered to address the complex interplay between family violence, Alcohol and Other Drug use and/or mental illness through mandated counselling, and voluntary case management providing group readiness support. The ICCM launched on 18 April 2021 and will operate for a minimum of 12 months.

  • Implemented.

Reviewed 23 September 2021

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