An evening with Rosie Batty and Brian Sullivan

YFS’ Domestic Violence Practice Manager, Brian Sullivan will be joining forces with Former Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty to raise community awareness on domestic and family violence in a forum to be held in Bundaberg next Wednesday 17th May at 7 pm.

The event, organised by the Bundaberg Regional Council and local community based organisation Edon Place, will take place at the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre as part of the Domestic Violence Prevention Month.

Dr Sullivan said he’s very excited about being a voice promoting the importance of men’s behaviour change programs in central Queensland.

“The forum is a great opportunity to speak about what we are doing as a society to educate the next generation to not tolerate violence, to hold men accountable and to keep women and children safe,” he said.

“As a society, we haven’t listened hard enough to the victims in our midst. We’ve let it go so far, for so long that it’s gone to the stage it is now.”

“For me, that’s confronting as a man. It confirms that we need men in this work; we need men generally to stand up and say enough is enough,” he added.

In Logan, Dr Sullivan oversees the work done by YFS’ Domestic Violence Program including women’s counsellors, women’s advocates and the facilitators of the men’s behavioural change program, Responsible Men which meets five groups per week.

He believes domestic violence is a major public health problem and hopes to get a better understanding of victim’s voices so he can bring those learnings into the work he does with men.

“I think it’ll take generations or at least decades to reduce domestic violence statistics. We have to start with the younger generations. It takes time for men to develop empathy and realise the effects that their violence is having on women and children” he said.

“Through this event, YFS’ Responsible Men program can continue to play its part effectively in an integrated service response in Logan. Our work focuses on raising awareness; respecting these men as human beings, which means respecting their ability to change and choose safer behaviours within their relationships,” he added.

“If we’re not putting the victim’s perspective front and centre in our men’s behaviour change program, we’re not supporting victims enough,” he added.

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