Communicare is giving violent men the tools to change

Communicare chief |executive Melissa Perry |says helping perpetrators to change ultimately keeps women and children safe.
Communicare chief |executive Melissa Perry |says helping perpetrators to change ultimately keeps women and children safe.

A CANNINGTON not-for-profit organisation has expanded its men’s residential behaviour change program for perpetrators of family and domestic violence.

Communicare has opened six new supported transitional accommodation units in Calista for men who are re-engaging with the community.

It is envisioned that after perpetrators have completed Communicare’s three-month Breathing Space program, they will move on to live in the units.

Breathing Space is a behavioural change program for men who have been abusive in their intimate partner relationships.

Communicare chief executive Melissa Perry said perpetrators would live in the units for about nine to 12 months while receiving support from case managers.

It is hoped about 12 men will go through the transitional accommodation each year.

“Our core philosophy is that if you work with the perpetrators of family and domestic violence, it will ultimately keep women and children safe,” Ms Perry said.

“Support will become less and less as the men become more able to get back into their own communities as they learn all the strategies they require to stop the violent behaviour.”

The transitional accommodation will allow clients to step back into the community while maintaining positive community participation such as employment, study or volunteering.

“We hope they continue to work on taking responsibility for their behaviour, that they are able to develop strategies and ways of thinking about their relationships that are healthy, that they continue to access support and devise and practice strategies they have learnt,” Ms Perry said.

Since 2004, the program has helped 636 clients address issues of violence, aggression and abuse and make the necessary behaviour changes.