Ending domestic violence begins with men

Blue Wren founder Adrian Hanks. Photo Inga Williams / The Reporter
Blue Wren founder Adrian Hanks. Photo Inga Williams / The Reporter Inga Williams

SUNNYBANK Hill's Adrian Hanks is a man on a mission.

He has worked with men and run men's groups for the last two decades.

His experience, expertise and insight into how men act and operate from a psychological perspective has led him to understand that domestic violence is not generic and, as such, cannot be combated through generic approaches.

"I have worked with thousands of men in both Australia and Africa and domestic violence is one of those topics that keeps coming up," Mr Hanks said.

"If one in four women is a victim of domestic violence, that means that one in five men is a perpetrator, even if you take into consideration repeat offenders.

"It is a societal problem that everyone wants to see changed but the reality is that the results are not improving."

Mr Hanks believed this was because of the generic approach undertaken in the vast majority of programs targeting domestic violence, as well as a lack of emphasis on prevention strategies andprograms.

"In the fight against domestic violence there are three different areas - the rehabilitative work with perpetrators, the support and counselling services for victims and then there is the prevention work, which needs to be targeted to all boys and men if we are to prevent future generations of perpetrators," Mr Hanks said.

He has developed an empowering, educational and interactive family and domestic violence prevention program for men, operating under the Blue Wren Foundation.

It is a program designed to engage and support men from all sectors of society.

"It is not about working with domestic violence perpetrators but about working directly with all men," he said.

"When we work directly with men on their feelings, emotions, thoughts, attitudes, beliefs and actions, it can, will and does make a big difference.

"Each man has to determine his own line in the sand and this can only be achieved through a self-evaluation and self-realisation process.

"Domestic violence very often has its roots in a poor or distorted sense of self, byproviding a space whereby men can discover and refine their sense of self is the first way whereby we stop the instances of domestic violence.

"Together we can explore, discover, own, change and transform our more negative and often caustic feelings, emotions, thoughts, beliefs and actions about, towards and against women, or male partners, into much more positive ones."

Pilot programs will be launched early next year.

For more information, to sign up or to get behind the Blue Wren Foundation phone Adrian Hanks on 0400424417, email or visit www.bluewren

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