Violence prevention program can’t cope with demand

Centacare’s 16-week program aims to help men stop abusive and violent behaviour (Bigstock)

A Gold Coast magistrate has warned there are not enough places in a court-ordered domestic violence prevention program run by Centacare to cope with the demand. Source: Gold Coast Bulletin.

The not-for-profit organisation has said additional resources would help but has not outlined what those are.

Magistrate Michelle Dooley made the comments at a breakfast on Saturday hosted by the Gold Coast District Law Association.

“The domestic violence courts have a lot of different areas of intervention,” she said.

“The Centacare Men’s Behaviour Change Program — we just don’t have enough places.

“That is a cornerstone of the court. So that is going to be the next issue we deal with this year is trying to find more places and more assistant the court can offer.”

Magistrate Dooley presides over the specialised Southport Family and Domestic Violence Court which deals only with matters related to domestic violence.

The Gold Coast Bulletin last month reported some defendants were waiting up to 18 months to get a place on Centacare’s Men’s Behaviour Change program which is often ordered by the court.

The program, funded by the Queensland government, takes 16 weeks and aims to help men stop abusive and violent behaviour and build nonviolent and respectful relationships.

A Centacare spokesman said the organisation would continue to accept referrals for the program but increasing demand meant there was a waiting list.

“Centacare are working to continue to meet the growing demand for this service within the resources we have available, additional resources would assist to reduce wait time for clients,” he said.

Minister for Prevention of Domestic Violence Di Farmer said the government recognised the importance of programs like Centacare’s.

“We are continuing to review demand for the programs and are looking at ways of using available funds to better meet this demand,” she said.

FULL STORY

Magistrate warns there are not enough places in DV program aimed at changing behaviour (Gold Coast Bulletin

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