Salvos IDEAS Crowd

Protecting women and children by helping MEN change their behaviour

by Elise | Oct 9, 2019 | in Ideas In Motion
Open Ideas/S2 - Dec19-Jan20

Family violence is a national crisis. 1 woman is killed each week in Australia by a current or former partner. 1 in 4 women have experienced emotional abuse by a current or former partner and 1 in 6 have experienced physical or sexual violence (Our Watch). Australian police respond to more than 260 000 domestic violence incidents each year (>700 per day) (Australian Institute of Criminology, 2018).

The Salvation Army along with many other services have worked hard over the last 30 years to support women fleeing violent relationships. Now the sector is realising that this is just a 'band-aid approach' and that protecting women and children requires that resources are invested in helping MEN change their behaviour. 

As a woman with lived experience I don't believe that men who choose to use violence are evil. I believe that they can choose to change their behaviour. But how do we get men to realise that they need to change and seek help, before it is too late? 

My idea is for the Salvation Army to partner with the national Men's Referral Service, No To Violence and with Men's Behaviour Change Programs across the country to identify men who have changed their behaviour. Let's give those men a voice and an opportunity to share their story of change. Perhaps reading, hearing or viewing these stories could be the prompt that other men need to seek help. If a man who uses violence sees himself mirrored in the story but also hears the story of transformation, this may give him enough hope to overcome his shame and change his own behaviour. Let's create a website that collates these stories. Let's record them in written, video and audio formats so they are bite-size, accessible and in language that appeals to men. Let's get men to co-design the initiative with us so that we have the greatest chance of it resonating. Then, let's get the stories out there, through the website, through social media, through any channel or format that we think might work. Let's get men and our broader community talking, to try to break down some of the stigma that surrounds this issue, because at the moment, that stigma is a barrier to help-seeking.

This initiative could even grab the attention of Government and prompt our leaders to inject more funding into the Men's Behaviour Change sector.

Imagine how many lives could be transformed and saved if we work together to create change in this space!

What department are you from?

Soldier at Tarrawanna Corps

Who is your target market?

Men who choose to use violence.

Men experiencing relationship difficulties.

All Australian men.

edited on Oct 9, 2019 by Elise

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Linda Naniseni Oct 14, 2019

I work in the Family Domestic Violence Field with female survivors. I love this proposal and the huge potential for hope it could bring to families


Elise Oct 15, 2019

Thanks Linda, it’s really great to hear feedback from someone who works with survivors.


Jasmine Purches Oct 15, 2019

What a brilliant idea. I would love to see this implemented.


Matthew Moore Oct 17, 2019

I think the idea to have stories of transformation that gives hope for a bloke to overcome shame and to change his own behaviour is excellent. Short form 'social media video's' would work brilliantly.


Elise Nov 4, 2019

Thanks Matt


David Bowtell Oct 25, 2019

If we can taget young men or teenagers who are from families with a history of violence we can stop the trend before they get into violent relationships them selves. This is a BRILLIANT idea and if we can utilise life coaching professionals with specific funding made available.


Warren Draney Nov 7, 2019

TSA already have a program around this very issue called Start Today Again. The program has been a joint paertnership with the University of Tasmania. We are currently looking into ways to roll this out across the nation. Several of our Social Mission Departments are also interested in developing this program. Funding would be helpful to help train people up in Start Today Again.


Ann Sathasivam Nov 19, 2019

Yes I agree with Warren. The Start Today Again programme has excellent content relating to the intergenerational trauma of toxic masculinity and excellent resources on breaking the cycle of violence. Soundly researched and delivered by facilitators who have a strong background in child protection and FDV, we already have excellent resources to assist men in our communities to break this chain of destruction. What we do need is for this programme to be picked up by Salvationists so that it gains support in targeted areas. This is a wonderful idea, and validation that these programmes are sorely needed in our communities.


Neri Morris 11 months ago

Status labels added: RDL, Open Ideas/S2 - Dec19-Jan20


Neri Morris 2 months ago

Status label added: Incubator


L-T Hopper 1 month ago

Anything to help men is good.