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Working with perpetrators

Working with perpetrators

Working with perpetrators

The Lookout is primarily designed to support workers who respond to victim/survivors of family violence. However the reality is that many professionals will also encounter family violence perpetrators as part of their work.

This section provides introductory information about family violence perpetrators, where to go for support and referral if your client uses violence, and specialised training you can undertake to build your skills in working effectively with perpetrators.    

Who perpetrates family violence?

Family violence and sexual violence is overwhelmingly committed by men against women. Women are at least three times more likely than men to experience violence from an intimate partner.1 Research shows that since the age of 15, one in six Australian women have experienced physical or sexual violence from a current or former partner, compared with one in 20 Australian men.1 What’s more, women are five times more likely than men to require attention or hospitalisation as a result of violence from their intimate partner, and five times more likely to report fearing for their lives.2,3 On average, at least one woman a week is killed by a partner or former partner in Australia.4

It’s important to understand that perpetrators may view themselves as the victims of family violence, even if this is not actually the case.

Where can I refer my client if they’re using violence?

No To Violence’s primary service, the Men’s Referral Service, provides telephone counselling, information and referrals for men in Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania. They also offer support to people who are seeking change for their male partners or family members.

Phone: 1300 766 491
Victoria: Monday-Friday, 9am-9pm
Tasmania and New South Wales: 24 hours

No To Violence incorporating the Men’s Referral Service (NTV/MRS) engages with all men respectfully to identify their needs, safety and risks, and then provides options for services that can help. An important part of their approach is reducing the risk of harm to victim/survivors. They work with men where they are at and encourage them to look at their part in the situation.

Where can I receive support as a worker?

NTV/MRS is the peak body for organisations and individuals working with men to end family violence in Victoria. You can contact the Men’s Referral Service (Ph. 1300 766 491) for a consultation on how to provide family violence support for your clients.

How can I build my skills in working with perpetrators?

NTV/MRS offers a wide range of specialised training:

  • 4 day short-course Introduction to Men’s Behaviour Change
  • 2 day short-course Working with men who use family violence
  • 2 day short-course Working safely with fathers who use family violence
  • Graduate Certificate in Social Science – Male Family Violence

 For more information and registration details please visit the NTV/MRS training page.

For all training enquiries please contact training@ntv.org.au


1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2013). Personal safety, Australia 2012, Cat. No. 4906.0, Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Canberra.

2. Mouzos, J. (1999). Femicide: an overview of major findings. Australian Institute of Criminology Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, 124, pp.1–6.

3. Statistics Canada. (2003). Family violence in Canada: a statistical profile 2003. Canada: Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Ministry of Justice.

4. Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC), 2015.