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Working with perpetrators

Working with perpetrators

Working with perpetrators

The Lookout is primarily designed to support professionals who support victim survivors of family violence. However, the reality is many professionals will also encounter people who perpetrate family violence in their lines of work.

In this section you can find out where to go for support and referral if your client uses violence, and specialised training you can undertake to build your skills in working effectively with perpetrators.    

Who perpetrates family violence?

Family violence and sexual violence is overwhelmingly committed by men against women. Women are at least three times more likely than men to experience violence from an intimate partner.1

Research shows that since the age of 15, one in six Australian women have experienced physical or sexual violence from a current or former partner, compared with one in 20 Australian men.1

What’s more, women are five times more likely than men to require attention or hospitalisation as a result of violence from their intimate partner, and five times more likely to report fearing for their lives.2,3 On average, at least one woman a week is killed by a partner or former partner in Australia.4

It’s important to understand that perpetrators may view themselves as the victims of family violence, even if this is not actually the case.

How do I engage with someone using violence? 

There are a few key things we can all do to ensure we are engaging effectively and safely with someone using violence. See this tip sheet resource, developed by the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria in partnership with No To Violence, for an overview sime key considerations and practical examples of good engagement. 

See the tip sheet

Where can I refer my client if they’re using violence?

No To Violence’s primary service, the Men’s Referral Service, provides telephone counselling, information and referrals for men in Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania. They also offer support to people who are seeking change for their male partners or family members.

No To Violence incorporating the Men’s Referral Service (NTV/MRS) engages with all men respectfully to identify their needs, safety and risks, and then provides options for services that can help. An important part of their approach is reducing the risk of harm to victim/survivors. They work with men where they are at and encourage them to look at their part in the situation.

Read more on the Men's Referral Service website.

Where can I receive support as a worker?

No To Violence is the peak body for organisations and individuals working with men to end family violence in Victoria. You can contact the Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491 to discuss how to provide family violence support to your clients.

How can I build my skills in working with perpetrators?

NTV/MRS offers a wide range of specialised training to build your capability to respond to those who perpetrate violence. 

For an overview of the courses on offer, please visit the No To Violence/Men's Referral Service training page.

For all training enquiries please contact [email protected]


1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2013). Personal safety, Australia 2012, Cat. No. 4906.0, Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Canberra.

2. Mouzos, J. (1999). Femicide: an overview of major findings. Australian Institute of Criminology Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, 124, pp.1–6.

3. Statistics Canada. (2003). Family violence in Canada: a statistical profile 2003. Canada: Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Ministry of Justice.

4. Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC), 2015.