Programs for domestic and family violence offenders

There are two programs available for men who have engaged in Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), in both custodial and community-based settings. Participants must provide voluntary signed consent to participate in a program.

  • Domestic and Family Violence Intervention Program (DFVIP) – targets intervention to men who score 5 and above on the Ontario Domestic Abuse Risk Assessment tool, and runs for approximately 20 weeks;
  • Family Violence Program for Aboriginal Men (FVP-AM) – targets intervention to men who score 5 and above on the Ontario Domestic Abuse Risk Assessment tool, and who are recognised as Aboriginal and prefer to engage in a culturally adapted program. It runs for approximately 20 weeks. Aboriginal men are also considered eligible for the DFVIP.

These programs help offenders take responsibility for their behaviour and understand the impact of their violent or abusive behaviour on their partners, former partners and children. They also help identify safe and respectful ways to behave in their relationships regardless of any pressures or difficulties they may face and offer strategies to challenge and modify dangerous thoughts (cognitions).

The programs consists of a combination of group-based and individual sessions held over a 20-week period.

Key intervention areas include:

  • responsibility taking
  • dangerous thinking
  • cycles of violence
  • effects for children
  • gender and power,
  • values and sexual respect, and
  • safety and self-management planning.

An offender is assessed for suitability for these programs after sentencing and an individual plan is developed, or the offender is sanctioned by the Court to a community-based supervised order with the Department for Correctional Services.

If an offender has any questions about either program or their plan, they should contact their case manager.

DCS has partnered with the Women’s Safety Services SA to offer support services to both current and former partners of offenders who participate in these programs.

This partnership reflects best practice guidelines for working with perpetrators of domestic and family violence. It serves both to protect the victim/partner and enables information sharing, which informs ongoing risk assessment and safety planning.

The Cross Borders Programs

The Cross Borders Indigenous Family Violence Program (CBIFV) was created in 2007 as a result of a proposal put forward by DCS, with the support of the Western Australian Department of Corrective Services and the Northern Territory Department of Justice.

The CBIFV is a family violence perpetrator program that operates primarily within the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjanjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Lands and is delivered over a 4 week period.

The central tenet of the program concerns the criminality of family violence and the content aims to challenge abuse-supportive attitudes in a non-threatening manner to encourage participants to take responsibility for their thoughts, feelings and behaviour.

The Cross Borders Program is also delivered in Port Augusta Prison to Indigenous men who have engaged in domestic abuse and are planning to return to the NPY Lands.