Family violence

By Belinda Nolan
DOMESTIC violence is forcing children out of school and into gangs, according to Brimbank’s family violence experts.
A council survey of family violence workers revealed worrying gaps in support services in the municipality. The consultation found that family problems were wreaking havoc on education, with students “chronically” wagging school to hang out with gangs.
Family violence workers told council officers that family violence had a clear impact on students, leading many to become disengaged and drop out of school at an early age.
Teachers were unsure how to handle family violence and would benefit from family violence training, family violence workers said. The survey also revealed a lack of men’s behaviour programs and large waiting lists for family mediation.
Alarmingly, support workers reported that in some cases the victims of domestic violence were forced to live with their abuser due to a lack of accommodation. The findings come as the council launched a new action plan in a bid to curb the city’s family violence crisis.
The council last month released its draft Family Violence Prevention Action Plan, which would see the council take a leading role in prevention of the crime. The draft plan will be placed on public exhibition for four weeks to allow residents to make submissions. For more information, contact the council on 9249 4000.

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