Our focus on family violence prevention through innovation and development of men’s behaviour change programs continued and significant further progress was made.
The Online Behavior Change Program
The third and final field trial of this world-first concept was completed in May, and the University of Melbourne evaluators confirmed the excellent results obtained from the first two trials. One partner said: “The program has given me the man I believed he could be when we married nine years ago.”
On the Line, specialists in telephone counselling and the provider of MensLine Australia was selected for the provision of the first regular program and preparations for induction training of their staff by VFF were finalised.
Our research study with Monash University into the long term results of conventional men’s behaviour change programs will continue for another nine months as we follow up men who have “graduated” from the programs. The results will be disseminated through publications and a seminar early in 2016.
Funding and Community Support
We welcome the continuing official recognition of our programs by Rotary. Generous donations were received from Women in Rotary and clubs, as well as philanthropic trusts and individual donors. Sixteen family violence prevention presentations were made to a total of over 1,000 people, spreading awareness of family violence and our contribution to prevention.
In March, our new Ambassador, Colleen Hewett, entertained delegates at a Rotary conference in Hobart with her new song about the experience of family violence, along with other well known songs. For many delegates, it was the highlight of the conference. An anti-violence video clip, featuring Colleen and numerous public identities, including the Prime Minister, premiered at the conference.
We accepted with regret the resignation of Norm Thomas from our Board with effect from 31 December. Norm’s wise advice and many contributions over his five years of service will be very much missed.
In May, we welcomed Helen Bird to the Board. She brings to our work her great enthusiasm and a wealth of experience in business development and public relations.
We made a submission to the Senate Inquiry into domestic violence in July, 2014, testified at a hearing later in the year and followed up with supplementary material requested on notice. We also made a submission to the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence.
Dr David Smyth