The programs work, they work well and they work in the long term.
Families affected by violence received good news on Monday 1 May, 2017, when the report a long-running study by Monash University into the outcomes of men’s behaviour change programs was launched by the Hon Marcia Neave, AO at University House, Melbourne. The study showed that the programs work, they work well and they continue to work in the long term.
Ms Neave, Judge in Residence at the Melbourne Law School and former Chairperson of the Royal Commission into Family Violence, related the research to the recommendations of the Royal Commission enquiry and formally launched the report at a function at University House, Melbourne University.
On Monday night Dr David Smyth, Chairperson of Violence Free Families, hosted a launch of the report of this very significant research. Professor Emeritus Thea Brown & Dr Catherine Flynn with assistants from the Monash University Department of Social Work carried out the study on behalf of Violence Free Families.
The Hon Marcia Neave, AO, launching the report with Professor Thea Brown and Dr David Smyth
The study collected data from 270 men over 2 or more years, with 71 remaining in the study at the end – a significant result in a study of this kind.
The men showed a sharp reduction in the nature and severity of violence over the duration of the programs and this reduction is maintained and improved upon in subsequent months and years. Most of the men become violence free or almost violence free two years after their program.
This continued reduction in violence is not without effort. Men fear relapsing and often seek further help. This does not negate the value of the programs, which set them on this path.
There is no evidence that one type of violence is transferred to another, eg, physical to psychological. All types reduce together.
In acknowledging the many supporters of this, the first major study of its kind in Australia, Dr David Smyth, chairperson of Violence Free Families, made special mention of the role of Rotary in supporting the creation of Violence Free Families in 2009 and the early stages of the research and of the generous philanthropists who contributed, The study costs in excess of $500,000 in cash and kind and was entirely funded from charitable sources.
It is a study of international significance. A summary and the full report may be found at https://violencefreefamilies.org.au/longitudinal-study-effectiveness-mens-behaviour-change-programs/.