A $200,000 program aimed at breaking the cycle of intergenerational domestic violence has been launched in South Australia.
The Supporting Parents' and Children's Emotions (SPACE) program provides early intervention support to young parents aged between 12 and 25, who are experiencing or perpetuating domestic and family violence.
The program - which is funded through the Justice Rehabilitation Fund - is being delivered by two experienced social workers recruited specifically for this program.
It is being run through the Women's and Children's Health Network, as a specialised add-on to its Young Parents Program.
Attorney-General Vickie Chapman said the program looked to reduce the risk of children being exposed to domestic and family violence.
"Domestic violence is too dangerous to inherit," she said.
"We must protect our children, and children's children, from its insidious scourge, and help those exposed at a young age to break the cycle.
"By stopping it at the start, we give future generations the best chance of living in a world where violence doesn't permeate their home walls."
She urged people who were vulnerable, experiencing or perpetrating domestic violence, or starting a family, to consider taking part in the program.
"It will help to ensure young parents and their children are given the chance to experience a life free of domestic abuse," Ms Chapman said.
She said that in its first month of operation, 40 young parents and 20 children had benefitted from the program, with 15 people referred for one-on-one therapeutic counselling.
Staff have also provided seven targeted education sessions to parents and children, focussing on the impacts of violence.
One SPACE social worked said that through SPACE counselling, education sessions and information conversations with young parents so far, they had seen young parents were keen to explore their own experiences of domestic and family violence, resolve their own distress and show strongly a desire to make changes to their own behavioural choices and parenting template to break the cycle for their own children and be good parents.
They said the young parents engaging with SPACE were demonstrating a desire and motivation to understand how to ensure their children were as safe and secure as possible.
At-risk South Australians who need support are urged to call:
- DV Crisis Line: 1800 800 098
- Men's Referral Service: 1300 766 491
- RESPECT hotline: 1800RESPECT (737 732)
- Break the Cycle: breakthecycle.sa.gov.au