Living with a father who uses violence:  Young People’s voices


Eight short digital stories were created by young people living with fathers who use violence.  As part of Katie Lamb’s PhD within the Fathering Challenges Research Project, these stories supported young people to be heard and to tell fathers how their violence affects their children.

The young people made these stories with the intention that they be used by programs and services working with men who use violence.

Three of the young people gave permission for their stories to be shared over the internet for easy access by programs.  These three stories can be viewed through this link.

Workshop Program update: Developing Programs for Men who are Fathers and Use Violence in the Home

The Panel:

Thinking about Men’s programs in Australia and how we cover content on both intimate partner violence as well as men as fathers and role models for young people.

Thank you to our team of panel members:

  • Jacqui Watt – CEO NTV
  • Alan Thorpe – Director at Daridi Munwurro (Victorian Statewide Aboriginal Men’s program)
  • David Ellis – National Training Manager at the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Care (SNAICC)
  • Damien Green – Research Associate at Curtin University, and former Executive Manager and facilitator of men’s programs at Communicare WA

Facilitated by:  Cathy Humphreys – University of Melbourne and Chief Investigator on the Fathering Challenges project


More information on the presenters and panel members.  The April 29 event agenda1 is now available.

Developing Programs for Men who are Fathers and Use Violence in the Home

Events with Associate Professor Katreena Scott

(Caring Dads program in Toronto Canada)


We are pleased to have Katreena as a visiting fellow at the University of Melbourne School of Social Work over April and May 2016. The event program developed so far includes:

April 27 – Staff and student Colloquium at the University of Melbourne.  

Katreena will provide a short overview of her work (40 minutes) followed by a question and answer session.  This will be combined with a short presentation by Katie Lamb, the PhD student developing digital stories of young people who have lived with violent fathers.

This is a free event with limited places.

12:30-2pm, The Sanderson Room, Ground floor, West Wing, The Medical Building (181 Grattan Street, Parkville)

RSVP send email to Nicole Hill:

April 29 – Fathering Challenges workshop at the University of Melbourne.  

This full day workshop will include:

  • A 2 hour workshop with Katreena Scott:  What does it take to develop a program working with men who use violence and who are fathers?
  • Pactitioner tool development – Digital Stories: the voices of children living with an abusive or violent father. A session by Katie Lamb (PhD student) about practitioner use of the digital stories she has developed with the voices of young people who have lived with violent fathers.
  • An update on all strands of the Fathering Challenges project including the Aboriginal strand, mainstream and voices of young people living with violence.
  • Workshop to identifying needs among practitioners working with men who are both fathers, or in fathering roles, and who may perpetrate violence against their female intimate partner – this will include discussion about working with Aboriginal men attending mainstream programs.
  • Expert Panel discussion – participants to be confirmed

Please note this is a not-for-profit event. The ticket price is to cover the venue and catering costs only.

Bookings through EventBrite

May 2016 – “Caring Dads” Practitioner Professional Development (date to be advised)

This two day workshop on the Caring Dad’s program will be run in Melbourne.  A registration form will be sent out as soon as logistics and dates are set.

Contacting Katreena while she is here:
Katreena will be based in Melbourne and is not planning to travel during the Fellowship.
She will have office space at the University and will be keen to connect with facilitators and managers of men’s and fathering programs in order to better understand the landscape in Australia prior to delivering her workshops.  She will have a local phone and Skype access and we’ll send out local contact information once she arrives.

Announcing Research Alliance to End Violence against Women and Children (RAEV)


Professor Cathy Humphreys

Social Work Professor Cathy Humphreys and Primary care researcher Professor Kelsey Hegarty at the University of Melbourne, announced the Research Alliance to End Violence against Women and Children. The Alliance is designed to encourage interdisciplinary research across the University and its partners to keep women and children safe.  See the whole Article in The Voice.

Attitudes to family violence

The state of Victoria in Australia is holding a Royal Commission into Family Violence.

In her opening statement at the public hearings of Victoria’s Royal Commission into Family Violence, commissioner Marcia Neave said family violence’s causes:

… are deeply embedded in community attitudes about gender, and about what is and what is not legitimate and appropriate between intimate partners and within families.

The commission’s remit is to “provide practical recommendations on how Victoria’s response to family violence can be improved”. This is an overdue examination and a highly commendable intention, as is the issue being high on the COAG agenda this week.

But to reduce family violence, we need to examine the culture of masculinity and the way we socialise our children into gender roles.

Read the full article in The Conversation here.

Engaging men who abuse their partners to change their behaviour – fathering as a catalyst for change

After separation, men who abuse their intimate partners may misuse contact with their children and misuse the legal system in trying to maintain contact and control over their ex-partners.  Alternatively, some abusive men appear to have a genuine, caring connection with their children and this connection has the potential to motivate them for positive change.  This presentation is aimed at increasing understanding of the variations among men who use violence against women in their parenting motives and abilities.  (This video includes a short section of copyright content from “Male Violence: A Room Full of Men” used with permission.)

Presented by Daniel G. Saunders, Professor, University of Michigan, USA, School of Social Work & Fulbright U.S. Scholar, Te Awatea Violence Research Centre, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Presented at the University of Melbourne in collaboration with project partners No to Violence and Berry Street (Video length 1 hour & 18 minutes, April 2015).

Can perpetrators of domestic violence change?

This ABC radio program (Background Briefing) presents the voices of men recognising emotional, psychological and financial tactics they have used to control their partners.  Partners also speak of how they experienced this abuse.  The discussion helps to describe and pull apart themes of power and control, how it’s used and how it impacts victims.  One of the primary points made is that it can take both victims and perpetrators many years to recognise the abuse, and many more years to change.  Click here to listen.



Interviews with program mangers for programs with men – Fathering Challenges project

VAW workshopThis ARC linkage research project includes a component learning about the way in which programs work with men who are both violent in their relationships and fathers.  

Across Australia there are a great range of group programs for men which deal with men’s use of violence against women, and a others working with men in their roles as fathers.   This research team is interested in hearing from program managers about the ways in which group programs handle the co-occurrence of intimate partner violence in the context of fathering. The research involves an interview (30-60 minutes).

We are interviewing across Australia, if you are part of a program you believe would be suitable to include you may wish to contact us through the form below.