Don't Become That Man
Today we remember the horrible incident in Queensland 12 months ago that lead to the death of Hannah Clark and her three beautiful children, murdered at the hand of her partner. This event deeply affected Queensland and the nation and was yet another reminder of the tragic loss of life happening all too frequently in this country through intimate partner violence.
No woman should be placed in this situation, and no woman should endure the levels of control and violence that leads up to a catastrophic event like this. In Australia during 2020 a woman was murdered every week as a result of intimate partner violence. Many thousands more are harmed each year and the impact on women and their families is very significant.
The murder of Hannah Clark was a catalyst for the development of the “Don’t Become That Man” programme in South Australia. The name Don’t Become That Man was created to encourage and facilitate early intervention and prevention programs for men who have concerns about their current controlling behaviour, and even more concerns about how that behaviour might escalate to violence. Following highly publicised and significant domestic violence/abuse events, particularly those involving lethal violence, men have contacted helplines all over Australia looking for help so that their lives don’t end up creating a similar disaster for their partners and families.
Many men said ‘I don’t want to be that man’ when seeking support and intervention. They were genuinely concerned about losing control. These catastrophic events can become pivot points for major change in the lives of men who have not yet become violent. It is our intention that this name will encourage men to think about their controlling behaviour and the potential consequences of it getting out of control and make a phone call to us to get assistance.
During COVID the Australian and South Australian Governments were very concerned about the risk of increased family and domestic violence and as a result funded “Don’t Become That Man” to provide a place for men to receive counselling and support as an early intervention approach to domestic and family violence. The service has been funded by the Office for Women. When the name was created, feedback was sought from a broad cross section of people including the domestic and family violence sector, and it has been received very well and is supported as a vehicle for early intervention and prevention.
Experienced phone counsellors take the calls and provide immediate interventions. Following these initial contacts where men have engaged with our counsellors, longer interventions and support will be provided to assist men understand their behaviour and make positive changes.
Every step of the way the safety of women and children associated with each man will at the top of the priority list. The aim is to reduce the likelihood of controlling behaviour escalating to violence and lethal violence.
If you are concerned about your behaviour go www.dontbecomethatman.com.au and talk to one of counsellors. Take the questionnaire and see if this applies to you.