On average, one woman in Australia is killed each week by her partner or former partner.
Champions for Change, the newly formed group of male BRHS staff committed to confronting violence against women and children, hosted a workshop on Wednesday on safe and effective ways to engage men who use family violence.
Led by Trent Larkman, a Training Practitioner with the organisation No To Violence, the workshop focused on what specific and impactful things people could do if a colleague was violent or harassing toward women.
“As co-workers, we sometimes might think that we want to fix the problem ourselves,” Larkman said. “You shouldn’t put that on yourselves. But what you can do is say ‘I am going to engage with this person and I’m going to make that engagement a positive one.’”
No to Violence is the peak body for organisations and individuals working with men to end family violence in Victoria and New South Wales.
Larkman described ending a man’s use of physical, emotional and other forms of violence against women as a “journey toward accountability” to his family, friend, co-workers and others.
“In that journey there will be a lot of conversations along the way,” he said. “Some of those conversations will help move a man away from family violence, but others may further entrench him.”
“You should know that you have the ability to impact a man’s journey.”
No To Violence provides resources for people dealing with or responding to men’s family violence, including a Men’s Referral Service. All the info is at https://www.ntv.org.au/
Growing out of BRHS’ Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence initiative which is led by BRHS Social Worker Carolyn Aston, Champions for Change has brought together male staff members from across a variety of backgrounds and roles, including food and environmental services, admin staff, security guards, health professionals and IT experts.
“This was very informative as it helped attendees quickly identify and practise appropriate responses to men who use family violence without inadvertently colluding or disengaging with them through harsh comments,” Aston said. “Overall feedback was that staff now feel confident in responding to this group of men in our community when safe to do so, as well as having a clear understanding of the content and complex dynamics of men’s behaviour groups.”
The official launch of Champions for Change at BRHS will be held with a morning tea on July 2, from 10:15 – 10:45 a.m.
If you’re interested in getting involved with Champions for Change, contact Carolyn Aston on firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 5150 3388.