The Domestic Violence Toolbox Talks (DVTT) Program, run by Sutherland Shire Family Services, was launched in 2017 with the assistance of Women NSW.  This highly innovative program draws on research that indicates violence against women and children is preventable through actions at a community level, and specifically, that men have an important role to play in that work.

Traditionally, work has focused on assisting victims to survive and recover from domestic and family violence and more recently there has been an emergence of behaviour change programs for those who use violence. DVTT takes things in a different direction and asks “What can we achieve, if we work together?”. By encouraging the community, and men in particular to recognise the value in positive role modelling, challenging disrespectful behaviour and attitudes towards women and girls, addressing sexism and safely responding to abuse when it is evident DVTT is working to dismantle the platform for abuse to occur.

When DVTT first began, the team knew it may be a challenge to encourage employers to approach this social issue differently. To allow a team of facilitators to encourage bystander intervention but also ask people to reflect on what they contribute to the social norms would need brave leaders. DVTT has been overwhelmed by the response to the program and has now delivered the program to nearly 5000 workers, almost double the target. As word has spread that the program motivates men to recognise their value in addressing violence against women and children so too has the interest in DVTT.

Due to this increasing interest, DVTT is now available across Australia and in all industries. This recent expansion has already seen the team travel to Queensland to deliver sessions and take enquiries from Western Australia, Victoria and Tasmania. DVTT has also developed a program that can be used with mixed gender audiences and is available in face-to-face or online delivery methods.

To learn more about this program and how it can support the community, your employees, and promote workplace diversity, please contac tthe Domestic Violence Toolbox Talks team at [email protected]

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