Pilbara men’s violence needs local solutions

Danielle RaffaeleNorth West Telegraph
Bloodwood Tree chief executive Kelly Howlett, Bloodwood Tree director Telfia Cameron and BHP general manager rail Warren Wellbeloved.
Camera IconBloodwood Tree chief executive Kelly Howlett, Bloodwood Tree director Telfia Cameron and BHP general manager rail Warren Wellbeloved. Credit: Sam Jones/Sam Jones

A local Aboriginal organisation has lauded to development of a men’s Breathing Space in South Hedland to address violence against women and stresses the model needs to cater to local issues including grog dependency.

Bloodwood Tree chief executive Kelly Howlett said the group supported the ongoing development of the men’s behaviour change facility to break the cycle of family domestic violence but consideration must be given to cultural and family considerations of participants.

She said program facilitators Communicare had been open to addressing the specific requirements of the Hedland community and looked forward solving some of the challenges associated with family and domestic violence alongside them.

“Dedicated and tailored services for men are lacking currently. To be able to work with men specifically and to assist in addressing their challenges and needs, so that they can better and improve themselves and hopefully return to their families, will be a tremendous outcome of the service,” Ms Howlett said.

“Challenges around alcohol and alcohol dependency will be a significant consideration for the new South Hedland service.

“It is important that alcohol use and unfavourable violent behaviours are addressed and treated together. Not separately and not one being addressed without consideration of the other.”

She said Bloodwood Tree regularly observed “unfavourable violent behaviour” as a result of alcohol and was excited to see the service address some of the underlying issues of men’s violence against women.

Communicare service delivery and design executive director David Cain said community feedback would inform the design of the Hedland program.

“We will continue to consult with stakeholders, community members, groups, and service providers to further strengthen collaboration, referral pathways and to reflect on cultural considerations,” he said.

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