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Family Violence treatment and prevention

Family violence is a devastating social problem that impacts all parts of society and can have a huge impact on children. At Family Life we believe that all children should be safe in their homes and communities but for too many children, home is a scary, unsafe place to be. Sometimes children get caught up in the violence and are physically harmed themselves while other times, children are impacted by witnessing violence.

A myth exists that children are safe if the violence in the home is not directed at them. However we know that children exposed to violence are at increased risk of exposure to traumatic events, such as the injury of a parent. The negative impact on the children can result in emotional and psychological trauma which can have both short and long term effects.

Since 1986 Family Life have been at the forefront of developing best practice to responding to Family Violence, using innovative techniques and programs to assist families, children and young people exposed to violence. Click here to view the Family Violence Innovation timeline.

At Family Life we strongly support the following:

  • Children need a safe and secure home environment.
  • Every child has the right to grow up safe from harm and should feel that those they love are also protected.
  • Children need to know that there are adults who will listen to them, believe them and shelter them.
  • Close, dependable relationships can also help children reduce the stress of living in a violent home.
  • Children who are exposed to violence in the home need to know that they are not alone and that the violence is not their fault.
  • Responses to children exposed to violence should be comprehensive and holistic, taking into account the range of effects and needs of different children.
  • Children must have places to go that are safe and supportive.
  • Children need to learn that violence is wrong and learn non-violent methods of resolving conflicts.
  • Schools are key in the strategy. School-based programmes can reduce aggression and violence by helping children to develop positive attitudes and values, and a broader range of skills to avoid violent behaviour.
  • Children need adults to speak out and break the silence.
  • Children who are exposed to violence in the home need to know that things can change and that violence in the home can end. Children need hope for the future.
  • Public education and awareness-raising campaigns on domestic violence should focus more on the impact on children and specific ways to address this hidden problem.

Family Life’s Family Violence Prevention and Treatment services aim to assist all victims of abuse and to decrease the incidence of violence in the community. We provide specialised groups for couples, men, women, children and young people are run throughout the year offering support on family violence, self esteem, anger management, parenting and family mediation. Groups run from Family Life Frankston, Cheltenham and Sandringham offices.

Individual and family counselling is also available. All assessments and counselling are provided by qualified trained professionals.

Family Violence programs and groups include:

Brief Engagement and Support

  • in partnership with Family Violence Outreach Services

Women’s Counselling and Support Services

  • including individual counselling

Women’s Group Services

  •  including Making Choices, a group for women who have experienced family violence. For more information on the Making Choices program, click here.

Children’s Services

  • available individually, as part of a group of children with similar experiences or via school-based programs click here

Targeted Adolescent Programs

  • for young people using violence in the home, individually and through groups including Whose In Charge? click here

Men’s Behavioural Change Support

  • including individual counselling

Men’s Group Services,

  • Men’s Behavioural Change Programs are for men who have been using violent or controlling behaviour towards their current or former partner and want to change their behaviour. Family Life provide an holistic family approach which includes partner contact, women’s and children’s support, engaging the partners in safety plan planning and referral into other services including counselling. Get more information on the Men’s Behavioural Change Program.

For more information about any of these programs, individual counselling or groups, please phone Family Life on 03 8599 5433 and ask to speak to the Duty Worker or email info@familylife.com.au