Updated: Aug 11, 2021
There are nine forms of violence
The Men Who Use Violence Workshop is a new course offered through DV-alert and Lifeline. It features information around what the drivers are for men who use violence. The course teaches how to take actions that lowers the risk these men present to their partners and children.
Dr. Ronald Frey, you’ve been instrumental in creating this workshop, can you tell us a little bit about your background in this work?
This workshop was developed by Dr. Romy Winter and me at the The Institute of Law Enforcement Studies, located at the University of Tasmania. Both of us have had a lot of experience working in the domestic and family violence field. Romy's work as a sociologist and criminologist focuses on training police and first responders to recognise the signs that DFV has occurred and the risk factors which might indicate it will occur again whereas my background is in psychology working with those who experience, use and witness family violence.
For me, this has included work as a child and family therapist at the Talera Centre in Brisbane (Carinity), and on the board of directors with the Queensland DV-Connect, as well as evaluating offenders for the Queensland courts. I also lectured on family violence, trauma and gender in the School of Psychology and Counselling for almost thirty years at QUT. Both Romy and I played a role in developing the Start Today Again Program for the Salvation Army about the impact of family violence on children. We were also assisted by a very capable reference group as well as experts at Lifeline when we developed this workshop.
Di Bannister, Lifeline Mid North Coast – there are many forms of violence, can you give us insight into what those are?
There are actually nine forms of domestic violence that we work on during the DV Alert two day training on Domestic and Family Violence. This is not something that a lot of people in the community are aware of. This knowledge broadens the understanding of some of the issues and behaviours that are causing concern for the women living in these relationships. The obvious one is Physical Violence and that is probably the one most people use as a benchmark about how a relationship is travelling. “At least he doesn’t hit me”. While this is a very concerning form of domestic and family violence it can also be an obvious one. The others can be less obvious and yet still impactful on the woman and her ability to make choices about her future. The other eight forms of violence are Social, Verbal, Spiritual, Stalking, Psychological/Emotional, Sexual, Technology Facilitated and Financial.
Ron, how do we recognise the signs of violence and respond appropriately?
This is a hard question to answer briefly, and is actually the focus of the workshop. As Di indicates, DFV is not always physical and as such can pass undetected by front-line community agencies. Family violence is always marked by a deep disrespect for the partner (who is usually a woman) and by treating the partner as though she is not a person with her own rights to decision-making, opinions, resources and so on.
The DV-Alert series helps front-line workers understand DFV better so they can help women (and children and men) enhance their safety and arrange referrals to agencies and resources which can help them further. The same applies for men who use violence; the workshop discusses the situations in which it is safe to talk to men who use violence (as sometimes talking to men who use violence directly may compromise the women's safety) and how to refer men who seek help to appropriate services.
Di, who is this course for and where can we find out more about it?
This course is funded by the Federal Government and offered by Lifeline Australia across Australia. The focus of the training is to any frontline worker i.e. someone who may come into contact with a woman living with domestic and family violence. Often the attendees are working in areas of domestic and family violence and want to update their skills. Others are working in doctors' reception areas, community hubs, childcare centres etc. The DV Alert team will work with people to see if they qualify. Go to the dvalert.org.au webpage and get up to date information on the sessions that are available.
Thank you Di and Ron.