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Family violence training for community workers

Half of all women seeking homelessness services are fleeing family violence. With the Victorian Government announcing another $30 million to go towards preventing it, the Council to Homeless Persons is running a one-day family violence training course for workers.

Protecting women and their children from family violence was firmly on the agenda at the VCOSS Summit in May, with the Victorian Government announcing a $30 million funding package to strengthen the response to family violence across the state.

This new package will help expand the statewide Strengthening Risk Management program. Strengthening Risk Management connects those experiencing family violence, family services, police and the courts. The main aim of the program is to protect women and children and hold perpetrators to account.

The Victorian Government’s $30 million package aims to fast track support for women and children, as well as increase the support provided.

It also aims to evaluate the effectiveness of current initiatives, such as interventions aimed at men who use violence. An example would be Men’s Behaviour Change programs.

The Council to Homeless Persons is now hosting a specialist training forum for workers who may work with men who use violence.

The training will be delivered by No To Violence and the Male Family Violence Prevention Association, and will provide information about ways men justify and explain their use of violence, recognising and managing risk, and ongoing assessment and monitoring.

This training will equip workers with practical skills and up-to-date knowledge on issues related to family violence to assist them to work more safely and effectively with women and children, as well as men who use violence.

The full day training will be held on Tuesday, 1 July, 2014 at the Collingwood Library Reading Room. Click here for full details and registration.

Family violence is the single biggest cause of homelessness in Victoria. In 2012-13, one third of people seeking assistance from Victorian homelessness services cited domestic and family violence as a contributing factor.

Almost half of all women seeking homelessness services were fleeing domestic violence.

As well as working with women and children experiencing violence, specialist homelessness workers often work with men who use violence. Police may have removed these men from the family home, or they may be part of a family unit where workers suspect or know of violence.

Workers may also be in contact with men who use violence through other activities that a worker facilitates, such as access visits or supporting women at court. This can be stressful and demanding work, which requires additional skills and expertise.

Family violence is everyone’s business. The Council to Homeless Persons encourages all workers to register for this valuable one-day training session and find out more about how to improve safety for women and children experiencing family violence and work safely with men who use violence.