Posted 3 April 2020 8:59am

Connect & Support

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic many experts in the Family and Domestic Violence space are predicting a rise in the incidence of FDV as personal space and freedom of movement normally available to families are limited. EveryMan recognises that some homes may not be safe places under the social distancing and home isolation rules, which can create a new environmental factor where risk of escalation to family violence is heightened.

EveryMan is introducing the Connect & Support service in response to this.

We understand that the AFP Family Violence Coordination Team's present policy is to contact men by phone who have had Police attendance due to family conflict and where no arrests have taken place.  During their follow up they offer multiple levels of support. In EveryMan's case, this means referrals to Working With the Man or Counselling Services. 

Due to the current situation with COVID-19 we anticipate greater demand for services but our response may need to be less intensive than our current counselling/behavior change approach.  Consequently, we are offering a dedicated phone service where men who feel they are at risk of using violence can be referred.  There is no obligation for them to engage in any other services and it can just be a one-off call, however they may choose deeper engagement and ask for ongoing support.

Contact is aimed at reducing the risk of men becoming violent during times of confinement, unemployment, financial difficulties, physical or mental illness, and heightened stress on family life.

To illustrate the nature of our approach, when having conversations the following items will be brought into the conversation:

  • Who else is in the household?
  • Where can you go for a private discussion (e.g. shed, office, back yard)?
  • What's going to happen when we finish this conversation?
  • How safe are you feeling right now?
  • What are some of your safety concerns do you have for yourself or others? 
  • Are you at risk of being violent?
  • What can you do to make you and others safer?

EveryMan has a dedicated and specialist trained Violence Prevention Services team who are skilled in engaging with men who use or are at risk of using violence. We offer a supportive approach that does not collude with coercive and controlling behaviours.

We invite men to be responsible for their emotional response to trying circumstances and offer support in how that can be achieved. Practitioners will also consider the wider dynamics of the system and what elements may practically be addressed to improve the situation.

We are currently exploring options for a more structured Connect & Support on-line support program for men, based on EveryMan's experience with delivering case management and counselling services for men at risk of violence, to be delivered using web conferencing platforms.

EveryMan will require that any additional Connect & Support service we offer will be aimed primarily at improving the safety of people affected by the use of violence in their relationships and meets standards and guidelines for delivering online services as they are developed by organisation like No To Violence and the relevant state and territory DFV authorities in the ACT, NSW, Victoria and other jurisidictions.    

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