TAMWORTH domestic violence workers have called for a perpetrator rehabilitation program to be established in town.
Recent figures revealed there were at least 2500 female victims of domestic violence in the city and while Tamworth Family Support Service (TFSS) offers a slew of programs for the abused, there’s nothing aimed at stemming behaviour causing the assaults.
TFSS’ team said there were perceptions abuse arose out of anger and alcohol issues, which were wrong.
Chief executive officer Belinda Kotris said no perpetrator programs were run in Tamworth despite the region having one of the worst rates of domestic violence in NSW.
Ms Kotris said perpetrator programs were expensive in terms of cost and resources, but said it was still necessary.
“It is desperately needed, but to make systemic change we need that alongside that perpetrators programs,” she said.
“If we have a victim through our range of services and we’re able to support the victim and they’re able to leave that relationship, the perpetrator more often than not will move on to another victim.
“It is not anger these men have an issue with, otherwise they would be punching their colleagues, or their mates.
“Their issue is power and control over their partner.”
Ms Kotris said the organisation had started going out into schools to teach children about respectful relationships as a means of prevention and intervention.
“A lot of these kids grow up in environments where they think [violence] is normal,” she said.
TFSS domestic violence team leader Lynda Townsend said alcohol issues were often used as an excuse for violence.
“In Australia, we drink, but doesn't mean when we go out to a pub and have some drinks we then go home and assault our partners, that is a choice,” she said
“Alcoholism and drinking being used as the reason they’ve done it, that’s a cop out, it’s still a power and control thing.
“We can’t blame things as a reason or look for a cause and effect.”
The call for a Tamworth-based domestic violence perpetrator program came after TFSS urged the community to join its “Reclaim the Night” march.
Starting at the Tamworth Police Station at 5.30pm on Friday, the march will shut down Fiztroy Street and proceed down into Bicentennial Park.