Enhancing perpetrator interventions & responses to ensure the safety of women and children
Conference Date
15 - 16 February 2023
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Day 1 - Wednesday 15th February, 2023

9:00AM (AEDT)
Opening remarks from the Chair
Dr Silke Meyer
Leneen Forde Chair in Child & Family Research Professor of Social Work, School of Health Sciences and Social Work
Griffith University
Innovative ways of working with men
OPENING KEYNOTE: From No To Violence
Jacqui Watt
Chief Executive Officer
No to Violence
How to drive engagement through motivational interviewing when working with men

• Understanding the basis of amotivation and how MI engages to shift it
• How motivational approaches connect with areas of family violence intervention
• Responding to discord in order to maintain engagement

Ken McMaster
Morning tea break
How Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) is leading to a reduction in violent men reoffending

• Working with men who have been incarcerated due to family violence
• Insights into how the Iowa Department of Corrections have implemented ACT
• ACT as a cognitive-behavioural approach that challenges human development, behaviour change and psychological growth
• How has the success of the ACT program been measured?

Amie Zarling
Associate Professor
Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Iowa State University
Developing Australia’s first dedicated Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Action Plan to end family violence
  • Overview of the purpose of the Action Plan
  • Ensuring approaches are community-led, culturally-safe, strengths-based and healing informed
  • Our progress to date 
  • Addressing immediate needs and laying a strong foundation to support ongoing and long-term change
  • Q&A opportunity to inform the council on what is needed in your area
Professor Sandra Creamer AM
Chief Executive Officer
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance
Craig Rigney
Chief Executive Officer
KWY Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Family Services
Lunch break
Understanding intersectional experiences
Abuse in captive contexts: The correlation between sexual assault responses and family violence responses

• Finding common ground: Defining sexual assault and family violence as acts of abuse in captive contexts
• Five features common to most cases of abuse
• Considering context rather than cause in sexual assault and family violence
• Hidden in plain sight: How the ‘normalisation’ of abuse could support responses
• Implications for working with men who have engaged in abusive practices

Andrew Frost
Programme Lead: Professional Supervision, Family Violence
Ara Institute of Canterbury
FIRESIDE CHAT: Structural intersectionality in family violence response

• Understanding how systemic oppression can impact engagement with FV intervention
• The issues with racialising gender-based violence
• Trauma of the perpetrator prevalence and impact on behaviour change
• Linking structural intersectionality to trauma based practices

Anu Krishnan
Elizabeth Lang
Chief Executive Officer
Diversity Focus
Hala Abdelnour
Chief Executive Officer
Institute of Non-Violence
Afternoon tea break
Domestic violence perpetrator programmes & neurodiversity: Practitioner experiences & perspectives report

• Identifying the challenges and strengths of neurodiverse individuals
• How can we make interventions more responsive to them?
• How can we use the key findings to improve practices?

Dr Kate Fitz-Gibbon
Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre
Working with men from Aboriginal communities through connecting with culture
CASE STUDY: My Journey – Understanding where & why the violence started

The My Journey program uses a narrative framework and has been co-designed with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. My Journey works closely with specialist homelessness and domestic violence services, The Department of Human Services, and the Courts Administration Authority. In this session, Craig will talk about how My Journey was co-designed, implemented and the impact this has when working with men.

Craig Rigney
Chief Executive Officer
KWY Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Family Services
How do Brothers Against Domestic Violence engage Aboriginal men who use violence through culture?

• What is the role of culture and community when working with men?
• Insights into cultural therapeutic approaches and interventions
• How can cultural safety be implemented in programs to enhance perpetrator understanding?
• Bringing cultural safety into behaviour change programs enhances perpetrator understanding
• How using cultural artefacts, yarning circles and going back to country can increases behaviour change

Michael Willis
Programs Coordinator
Gawura Aboriginal Corporation
4:35PM (AEDT)
Closing remarks from the Chair & close of day one

Day 2 - Thursday 16th February, 2023

9:00AM (AEDT)
Opening remarks from the Chair
Dr Silke Meyer
Leneen Forde Chair in Child & Family Research Professor of Social Work, School of Health Sciences and Social Work
Griffith University
Breaking down gender stereotypes & holding men accountable
INTERNATIONAL KEYNOTE: Defining perpetrator accountability

In this session, David Mandel will discuss how narrow, ill-defined or incomplete definitions of perpetrator accountability fail to align with adult and child survivor experience and limit our ability to intervene with perpetrators. David will explore
• How heavy emphasis on criminal justice definitions of accountability reinforce colonisation dynamics, sidestep perpetrators as parents, and often avoid substance misuse and mental health issues
• How focusing on perpetrators as parents is essential for
a) accountability in child protection and family law spaces and
b) improving outcomes for communities that are interested in ‘whole of family’ responses

David Mandel
Executive Director
Safe and Together Institute
NSW Parliamentary Panel Discussion – Driving change at a systemic level
Jodie Harrison
Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Domestic
Family and Sexual Violence, Parliament of NSW
Abigail Boyd MLC
Greens spokesperson for the Prevention of Domestic Violence
Parliament of NSW
The Hon. Natalie Ward MLC
Minister for the Prevention of Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence
Parliament of NSW
Morning tea break
What do we know about the patterns of violence perpetration in Australia?

• Who uses domestic, family, and sexual violence in Australia?
• At what age do people start using domestic, family and sexual violence, do they typically keep doing so over time, and why do some people stop?
• What are the patterns of perpetration among specific groups, settings, and communities?
• What does all this mean for preventing and reducing domestic, family, and sexual violence?

Michael Flood
Queensland University of Technology
Model Study: Insights into Breathing Space

• What is the model of Breathing Space and how does this model hold men accountable and allow for victim healing?
• How to engage with men to encourage them to step out of the family home
• Understanding that the journey of violence is different for each perpetrator
• How are gender expectations and stereotypes dismantled within Breathing Space?

David Cain
Executive Director, Strategy and Growth
Interactive session

You will have the opportunity to connect with other practitioners and leaders in the sector to share and discuss:
• How do you navigate the challenges of holding men accountable whilst supporting the victims?
• What skills, tools or frameworks do you use to work effectively with men in an ethical way?
• Thinking forward: In a year from now, how would you like to see the sector engaging men? How do we get there?

Lunch Break
Improving service collaboration, coordination & integration
De-siloing our thinking: connecting responses to men across the continuum

While there is growing focus on the role of men in ending violence against women much of this work remains poorly integrated in to the broader service system.
• Understanding responses to men across the continuum
• Exploring the unintended consequences of the notion of accountability in perpetrator work – what does this actually mean?
• The real challenge of integration and coordination
• Bringing it together

Damian Green
Chief Executive Officer
Stopping Family Violence WA
Model Evaluation: Implementation, insights & evaluations of the Alexis Model

• Insights into the Alexis model and how it was implemented
• Understanding how to assess and meet the needs of family members
• Insights into the outcomes of the model and how they are measured
• Understanding how intersectionality plays an important role in interrupting family violence

Marcus Tawfik
National Family Violence Specialist
The Salvation Army
2:35PM (AEDT)
Closing remarks from the Chair & Close of day two
Workshop A: Holding Shame Without Shaming : A Parallel Journey
Tuesday 14 February 2023, 9:30am - 12:30pm AEDT

The Seminar

As practitioners, our work with abusive behaviour is charged with high levels of social threat and accompanying feelings of panic and shame that impact and move all concerned. It is in this context that our reactions can inadvertently perpetuate violence as a consequence of our problematic relationships with shame.

How might we manage our reactions and respond to social threats and shame in a productive manner?

How might we reposition shame from a toxic effect to be avoided at all costs, to a productive ethical force that can unsettle violence and abusive behaviour?

In this seminar, led by Alan Jenkins, you will gain the insights and skills to understand the nature of shame, how it impacts perpetrators and how to respond effectively to their behaviour. You will also improve your ability to work alongside men through non-shaming responses and gain strategies to ethically and respectfully engage with men whilst encouraging them to attend to their shame.

Attend & learn

• What is the nature of shame and how does it impact perpetrators?
• How to develop non-shaming responses that can unsettle abusive practices
• Strategies for ethically and respectfully engaging men who have used violence by noticing and supporting them to responsibly attend to their shame

Alan Jenkins
Clinical Psychologist
NADA Consulting
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Workshop B: How to map perpetrator patterns
February 17 February 2023, 9:30am - 12:30pm AEDT

The Seminar

In order to engage with men effectively, it is essential you have all of the skills and knowledge to understand perpetrator behaviours, the impact this has on their families, and how to effectively work with the perpetrator to understand this impact.

In this seminar, led by the Executive Director and Founder of the Safe & Together Institute, David will give the history behind Perpetrator Pattern Mapping, describe components and benefits of the Safe & Together Institute’s Mapping Tool and discuss its applications. Participants will be introduced to the concept of domestic violence-informed assessment and documentation, and have an opportunity in small groups to practise using portions of the new web-based version of the Safe & Together Institute’s Perpetrator Pattern Mapping Tool. You will also have the opportunity to discuss the importance of ‘micro-accountability’ strategies that involve our use of language, and attention to describing perpetrator patterns.

Attend & learn

• What is a perpetrator patterned based approach and why should we use it?
• What is domestic violence-informed assessment and documentation?
• How to map out perpetrator behaviours and understand the story it tells in order to work with men

David Mandel
Executive Director
Safe and Together Institute
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Key Speakers

David Mandel
Executive Director
Safe and Together Institute
Jacqui Watt
Chief Executive Officer
No to Violence
Amie Zarling
Associate Professor
Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Iowa State University
Ken McMaster