3What is the Family Violence Program? What is the Family Violence Program?Alternative Sentencing Program Impacts of family violence on the offender, family, victims, community Family Violence is not acceptable Against the law Beliefs, attitudes and behaviours are challenged Supportive Responsibility Practise StrategiesThe Family Violence Program is an alternative sentencing program delivered in urban, regional and remote communities by Program Facilitators. The program raises awareness about family violence and its impact on the offender, their family, their victims and the community as a whole. Participants are perpetrators of family violence who are referred from the Courts, the Parole Board, Community Corrections, Police, the Department of Education and Children's Services and community legal services. Program participants learn that family violence is not acceptable, is against the law, and affects the self, the family and the community. They are assisted to examine the attitudes, thinking, and behaviours that lead to domestic and family violence in a supportive environment. They learn to take responsibility for their behaviour, and in the program, practise strategies to prevent anger or other emotions turning into violence.They can then practise those strategies in their own communities.
4Assessment of Participants Assessment of ParticipantsAlthough the Family Violence Program is not a treatment program, the requirement for an assessment of all participants is still important. However, as there is only one Senior Clinician in the program it is not possible to be to conduct an individual assessment on each potential participant. Therefore we have developed a form which we are able to provide to referral sources, such as Probation Parole Officers. They will be able to sit with each of the participants and ask open ended questions allowing the gathering of crucial information for the Senior Clinician to make a judgement on whether the referral is appropriate.The questions include basic details such as name, address, etc., but also childhood history – where they were born, mother, father, brothers, sisters, family relationships, fighting, drinking, education, etc. Also work, literacy level, AOD issues, current relationship status, children, medical/psychological/cognitive conditions, offending history, DFV history, and what they would hope to gain from attending the FVP.
5The New Family Violence Program The New Family Violence ProgramThe materials pictured are old promotional brochures which were used by the program when it was called the Indigenous Family Violent Offending Program (IFVOP). The first picture shows the Cycle of Violence – Violence, Court, Community Corrections/Prison, back to Family and then a return to violence. The second picture shows a different pathway – learning about family violence, who does it hurt, what makes me violent, how can I behave in a better way, who can help, and then – Now I can move forward with a strong family and community. The current program is based on this program which was first developed in 1998.The new program is shorter than the previous version, being a total of 27.5 hours conducted over five days in a row. The shorter program will allow facilitators time to run programs more frequently in each community, with successive programs providing reinforcement and relapse prevention to graduates of previous programs. These graduates will also be able to provide mentoring to new participants, and may attend as guest speakers. We had one attend as a guest speaker recently at Nhulunbuy, and it was a great success. He was proud to present, and the participants said they wanted to be like him.The old program was very content focussed with 16 different topics, run over a period of eight full days, and was conducted by facilitators in a classroom lecture style format, with a lot of use of the whiteboard, and writing in booklets by participants. In the development of the new program, it has been kept in mind that English is not the first language of some of the participants, so there are minimal requirements to read and write. Where necessary, interpreters are used. In this program, there is a focus on engaging all participants in interaction right from the start. Research has found that learning is more likely to occur and be retained in experiential “hands on” work rather than learning that is experienced in a class room type situation. Thus we use small group activities, role plays, art and music. We have also included visual aids such as cards and photos that stimulate conversation and story telling, and appropriate, recent DVDs.The Women’s Program.I’m currently in the process of adapting this program for women. In the past, men and women attended together, but this was found to be inappropriate, with women not comfortable being with the men.I am aware that there are similarities and differences in the offending of men and women. I’ve done some reading on women’s violence, and have discussed it with Aboriginal colleagues, and will be discussing it with Elders in the near future. There are not many resources about women’s violence and certainly no DVDs. However, the overall principles are the same – that violence is against the law, that it impacts on everyone, and that anger and other emotions can be dealt with by learning different strategies.As time goes on, the FVP will not be delivered as a stand-alone program as communities will be encouraged to take “ownership” of the program, participating as guest speakers in the program, and developing other activities to supplement it, perhaps including education of victims, and larger scale community development activities.
6Program ContentTopic 1: Introduction/Group Rules/Expectations of Participants and Facilitators Topic 2: Life Story/Values and Beliefs Topic 3: How Violence Affects Self, Family and Community Topic 4: Immediate Factors Preceding Violence Topic 5: Understanding Anger and Jealousy/ Communication Skills Topic 6: Violence and Substance Abuse Topic 7: Action PlanTopic 1: Introduction/Group Rules/Expectations of Participants and FacilitatorsIntroductions using maps of the Northern Territory, Aboriginal map of Australia, and map of the World. People explain where they live, where their parents’ families came from, where they have travelled to, and what they like about their community. This is done by participants and facilitators. Participants are encouraged to participate/work together/attend every day, and group rules are developed. People are asked their goals. These are written up and discussed during the program. This session also covers types of family violence, and introduction of the Tool Box.Topic 2: Life Story/Values and BeliefsThis involves the life story and identifying background factors that may have contributed to offending, e.g., witnessing/experiencing DFV, believing violence is normal, other beliefs and attitudes that are pro-violence. It is explained that change is possible as violence is a learned behaviour. This section also looks at their strengths – things they are proud of.Topic 3:How Violence Affects Self, Families and Communities.This is about the ripple effect of family violence, and explores the effects of violence on the self, victim, children, other family and the community, with discussion of the Generational Cycle of Violence. There is particular focus on the effects on children – brain development, learning problems, behavioural problems, anxiety, anti-social behaviour, etc. A short DVD – Children See Children Do is shown in this session to demonstrate children copying adults.Topic 4: Immediate Factors Preceding Violence.This explores the situation, people, feelings, and thinking that lead to violence. It examines cognitive distortions or thinking errors such as minimisation and blaming that stop the person taking responsibility for his/her behaviour.Topic 5: Understanding Anger and Jealousy/Communication Skills.The focus here is that anger is a natural emotion, but violence is a choice. Strategies to stop violence are developed by the group and facilitators and put in the Tool Box. These include - examine self-talk, stop and think, walk away, cool down, step back, communicate, talk to someone. Jealousy is explored and underlying feelings discussed. Strategies to reduce jealousy include - explain your feelings, reassure partner, don’t believe rumours, communicate. Then Communication Skills – there are two parts to good communication - clear speaking and active listening. Role plays are used to practise these skills.Topic 6. Violence and Substance Abuse.This is about the effects of alcohol on the body, family, community. Strong Spirit Strong Mind cards are used for this. Also covered is the effects of alcohol on the brain that lead to violent offending.Other topics are - triggers (situations, thinking, feelings) that lead to drinking, alternatives to drinking, standard drinks, drinking questionnaire, safe drinking, Alcohol/Drug Management Plan (stop or slow down), budget exercise.Topic 7. Action Plan.What needs to be in your Tool Box to stop the violence? Review situations that trigger anger or jealousy and role play strategies to avoid violence. Development of a realistic Action Plan as described above - support person/people, alcohol and other drug plan, benefits to my family and community, plans for training or working, services for help with violence or AOD problems. Participants write or gain assistance from facilitators in writing up the Action Plan. The names and phone numbers of people or organisations they want to contact will be put on the Action Plan.
7Resources in the Program Resources in the ProgramThrough Young Black Eyes – Developed by SNAICCStrong Spirit Strong Mind Cards – Developed by Government of WAResources FVPTool Box: analogy – to fix a car you have to know what tools to use, depending on the problem. When learning about how to fix a car, you have to actually work on a car, not just hear a lecture about it. It’s the same with developing and learning strategies to deal with strong emotions such as anger and jealousy.The Tool Box is introduced on the first day, and strategies are written in the Tool Box as they come up in the group. This is used as part of their Action Plan.Types of Family Violence/Abuse:Physical, emotional/mental, social, financial, spiritual. These titles are on cards and are handed out along with many different behaviours. The activity is to discuss and sort the behaviours and put them under the above categories.Children See Children Do: NAPCAN through SNAICCA one minute DVD showing vignettes of children copying adult behaviour. These behaviours range from smoking, road rage, abusing asylum seekers – “go back where you came from”, a man assaulting his wife. The DVD is played and discussed and participants are asked how many stories they saw.Who Feels the Children’s Pain: Cape York RAATSIC Advisory Association and David Farmer through SNAICC.This shows the effects of domestic violence on children - emotional, behavioural, social, and how to help them. It also shows the cycle of domestic violence – the Build Up, the Explosion, Remorse, and Honey Moon. One of the main aims of the program is to help break the generational cycle of domestic violence.Strong Spirit Strong Mind cards: Drug and Alcohol Office Government of Western Australia.These are alcohol related. The exercise can involve exploring the effects of alcohol, and also compare activities where alcohol is involved and where alcohol is not involved. They can also be used to discuss alternatives to drinking.St. Lukes Innovative Resources.Shadows and Deeper Shadows.Our Scrap Book of Strengths.Talking Up our Strengths.Used for various topics including telling stories about DFV, communication skills, and self-esteem exercises.Emotions Cards.Downloaded from the internet and laminated. These cards show various emotions, behaviours, and interactions between people. They can be used to help people “check in” in the mornings to say how they are feeling. They can be used to help people tell stories about situations that lead to anger and possibly violence.Role Plays.These can be scripted or developed by participants. They are used to practise strategies to avoid violence, and include communication skills.Action Plan.Research has shown a realistic Action Plan increases the chances of behaviour change.Guest speakers from local organisations deliver content in various areas, but also promote their services so people are likely to follow up after the program.Tool Box AnalogyAction PlansChildren See, Children Do – Developed by NAPCAN
8Profile OffencesAssault Assault Female – Offender Male Aggravated Assault Family Violence Failing to comply with DVO
9Family Violence Program Communities Family Violence Program CommunitiesCentral RegionHermannsburgPapunyaYuendumuDocker RiverAlice SpringsKatherine RegionKatherineBeswickBarungaKalkarindjiLajamanuNgukurrBorroloolaPine CreekNumbulwarTimber CreekBarkly RegionTennant CreekBarkley Work CampTi TreeAli CurungTop End RegionDarwinPalmerstonWadeyeGroote EylandtNumbulwarNhulunbuyTiwi IslandsWadeyeGunbalunyaJabiruMilingimbi
10Types of Referrals to the FVP InternalExternalNT Department of Correctional ServicesInternal programs/services such as Darwin/Alice Springs Correctional CentresSurveillance OfficersNT Community CorrectionsProbation Patrol OfficersCommunity Probation Patrol OfficersParole BoardMandated ReferralsCourt orders made by Judges, MagistratesPolice referredDepartment of Family and Children Services referred (parenting order)Agency ReferralsNTGNon NTGNot Government OrgsCommunity ReferralsFamily/friend referralsSelf referralsBarkly Work CampDon Dale Youth Detention Centre
11Because of your familyViolence you have toattend FVPBarkly Work CampDon Dale Youth Detention Centre
12Non-Mandated Referral Process KeyFVPFamily Violence ProgramFVPMFamily Violence Program MangerFVPSCFamily Violence Program Senior ClinicianFVP AOFamily Violence Program Administration OfficerReferral completed and sent back to FVP genericFVP AO sends referral through to FVPSC/ FVPM to assessReferral assessed and acceptedSent to FVP AO to add to waiting list and advice relevant FVPF of referralFVPM checks waiting list’s when developing scheduleReferral assessed and not acceptedFVP AO sends back to agencyRequest for Internal/ External Referral Package via. FVP generic FamilyViolenceProgram.NT6 month program schedule developed and promotedBarkly Work CampDon Dale Youth Detention Centre
13FVP NumbersOf the 25 Programs delivered over the past year: 250 participants were referred however 45 of those never commenced in a program. Of the 205 people that did commence, 166 completed the program. Of the 166 participants who completed, just 16 re-offended by committing family violence.ACTUAL NUMBERS:Number of Programs = 25Referred = 250 (39%)Commenced = 205 (32%)Completed = 166 (25%)Re-Offence = 16 (3%)
14Where to from here?Encourage ownership of programs through community involvementDevelop proactive educational resources and programs to educate the community on the effects of domestic family violenceBuild on non-government partnerships to increase external community referralsLiaise with other organisations in the community to develop other related programsTHE FUTURE:Encourage ownership of programs through community involvement:The Family Violence Program will develop a community consultation strategies to encourage community ownership. This will involve Elders, community members, and other agencies participating in the program within their respective regions as guest speakers, organising, and providing input into program content.Develop proactive educational resources and programs to educate the community on the effects of domestic and family violence:Develop educational resources to educate the community on the effects of family violence on the offender, the victim, the family and the community.Build on non-government partnerships to increase external community referrals:Increase the partnership with non government organisations to increase non-mandated referrals to the Family Violence Program, to assist in the community ownership of the program, and to support the Action Plans of participants.Liaise with other organisations in the community to develop other related programs:Liaise with any existing victim support agencies and possibly encourage the establishment of family counselling or mediation services.Any questions?Barkly Work CampDon Dale Youth Detention Centre
15Contact DetailsDesmond Campbell Manager, Family Violence Program, Offender Services, Programs and Indigenous Affairs Department of Correctional Services Northern Territory Government Level 2, Old Admiralty Towers, 68 The Esplanade, GPO Box 3196, Darwin NT 0801 Telephone: (08) Fax: (08) Mobile:Christine Brown Senior Clinician, Family Violence Program, Offender Services, Programs and Indigenous Affairs Department of Correctional Services Northern Territory Government Level 2, Old Admiralty Towers, 68 The Esplanade, GPO Box 3196, Darwin NT 0801 Telephone: (08) Telephone: (08) Fax: (08) Mobile: