The Outer South Peninsula Integrated Family Violence Partnership is a group of organisations that work together to address family violence in the region.
When men receive a Family Violence Safety Notice or Intervention Order from the courts they are often angry and refuse to accept information on what to do or who to go to for help. The Partnership wanted to develop a resource that men would be happy to put in their pocket or wallet and access when needed. They were also mindful that the information needed to be easy for men to read and use.
The Partnership approached the Peninsula & SE Regional Communication Service to work with them in developing the resource. Over a number of meetings the information was reduced to the key messages using easy to read language. The information consisted of:
- where to get help
- what to do when you start to feel frustrated and
- tips from other men on what to do to make sure you don’t break the rules of the Safety Notice or Intervention Order.
The resource was trialled with men from a men’s behaviour change group who gave feedback on the content and wording.
The pocket cards were printed and made available to the Dandenong and Frankston Magistrates Courts. When the men receive the Safety Notice or Intervention Order they are also given the pocket Think Safe Act Safe card. It has also been reported that the Court Officer has found it useful to use the pocket card format as a way of explaining to men what they need to do.
An informal survey of men attending a local men’s behaviour change group indicated that many of the men had retained the pocket card. They also reported that the information on who to contact had been the most useful.
The City of Greater Dandenong has a large multicultural population with over 40 different languages being spoken. An Easy English version of the pocket card information was developed to support men who have low literacy, are non-English speaking or have English as a second language. While this resource is not pocket size, it makes the information accessible to a broader group of men.
Both the pocket card and the Easy English version can be downloaded and printed from http://www.thinksafeactsafe.org/print.html
By Zita Canning
Peninsular & South East Regional Communication Service