Male Perpetrators of Domestic Violence – Filling a Comorbid Gap

Stream: Understanding and Responding to Family, Intimate Partner and Domestic Violence
Date: Wednesday, 11 February 2015
Time: 1.00 pm – 2.45 pm


This presentation is based on data from a residential therapeutic facility for male perpetrators of Domestic Violence and uses data collated over the last three years at “Communicare Breathing Space” (CBS) which is located near Perth, Western Australia. We will explore the journeys of residents engaged throughout this timeframe as well as those who, for one reason or many were not assessed as suitable to engage. Many behavioural issues present with our clients, mental health and the results of the misuse of alcohol and/or illicit substance are some that impact on their life choices in general and in intimate relationships, poly substance use is also common. Whilst individually all of these concerns can be addressed by relevant agencies there is a ‘service gap’, this is prevalent when attempting to engage with DV perpetrators. The ‘service gap’ is most prominent when assessing potential clients for suitability to engage in our men’s behaviour change program, there is a tendency to address issues on an individual basis i.e. Domestic Violence, Mental Health, and AOD miss use etc. Our recorded data suggests this approach mostly excludes clients from immediate intervention. Toward the end of this year CBS will commence a pilot ‘Transition In’ program, it is planned that this will enable clients who in the past may have been assessed as un-suitable to engage in our behaviour change program after a period of settling and focus on comorbid issues, our aim is to narrow the apparent ‘service gap’.


Gary Smith (Presenter), Communicare inc.
Gary has been employed at ‘Communicare Breathing Space’ (CBS) for the past four years and has experience in Alcohol and other Drugs, Mental Health Crisis counselling and domestic violence intervention/prevention. Over the four years at CBS he has undertaken many roles, group facilitation, case management, client assessment, completion reports, domestic violence outreach, life skills etc. Gary is now managing the facility.