Domestic Violence Workshops

19 Sep, 2016

Domestic Violence is a huge social problem which is currently receiving a lot of attention - so there are high chances counsellors and social workers will come across it in their work. But how confident are you in your skills to have a helpful conversation with a perpetrator of abuse? Do you feel you have the skills to have a helpful conversation with a victim of abuses?

These workshops are suitable for counsellors, social workers, psychologists, case workers and students.

They will be presented by Rob Andrew and Frederika Davies. Rob Andrew manages our Domestic Violence services and has worked in the field for twenty years as a practitioner and as a trainer. Frederika Davies is our Manager of Clinical Training and has been presenting workshops on this topic with practitioners for a decade. Both are passionate about the possibility of change.


To register and confirm payment information for workshops please contact 6164 0200. We accept credit card, cheque or money order and cash. It is important to note that course commencement is dependent on numbers attending.


Day one only – Understanding Domestic Violence $200
Friday 28th October


Two days - Understanding Domestic Violence and $325
Conversations with Perpetrators
Friday 28th October and 4th November


Two days - Understanding Domestic Violence and $325
Conversations with Victims
Friday 28th October and 11th November


All three days - $400
Friday 28th October, 4 & 11 November

Workshops will be held at our West Leederville location from 9.30am - 4.30pm.


Day One: Understanding Domestic Violence - How we talk about it matters

To have conversations with clients about Domestic Violence (DV) that will make a difference requires a thorough understanding of its perpetration and people’s responses to it. This includes exposing misunderstandings. For example, one common misunderstanding is that DV is an outcome of faulty relationship dynamics. Another is that DV is an outcome of the perpetrator’s difficulty in managing his anger.
Domestic Violence is so widespread that we understand it as a social problem inherent in the attitudes of the perpetrator. The importance of Risk Assessment and Safety Planning will be addressed.

Day Two: Conversations with perpetrators

It is very common to seek explanations for abuse by asking ‘Why is he abusive?’ Some of these explanations may be very compelling but do they in any way lead to possible solutions? We prefer to ask ‘What stops him being respectful?’ as this question immediately invites us to think about his attitudes and beliefs. This workshop will provide skills to engage a man in conversations that highlight the gap between his hopes and dreams and the ways he treats those he cares about. It will offer a language of choice and change which provides a man with more than one well-worn path to follow. In this way he will be more able to match his values with his actions. There is far more to the man than the abuse he has inflicted. Micro skills for engaging in helpful conversations with men who have used abuse will be demonstrated, and participants will have the opportunity to practice these. Emphasis will also be placed on ongoing Risk Assessment and Safety Planning.

Day Three: Conversations with Victims

There is a history of women being held partially to blame for abuses inflicted on them, such as ‘What did you do to provoke him?’, or ‘Why didn’t you just leave him?’ and for ‘failing to protect her children’. Women have also been portrayed as passive recipients who put up with it because they lack both assertion and self-esteem. We believe these questions and portrayals are highly diminishing. We prefer to ask ‘How did you respond when he ….?’, ‘How have you resisted his abuse?’, ‘What stopped you leaving?’ and ‘How have you tried to keep yourself and your children safe?’ These questions cannot change a woman’s history or her material circumstances but they can reposition her from being ‘part of the problem’ to actively resisting her partner’s abuse. One woman reported ‘I have learned two things about myself – I am not stupid and I am not responsible for how he treats me’. This workshop will demonstrate the skills to have expansive conversations with women who have been diminished by the way others have positioned them. Micro skills for engaging in helpful conversations with women who have experienced abuse will be demonstrated, and participants will have the opportunity to practice these. Emphasis will also be placed on ongoing Risk Assessment and Safety Planning.

For three months after the workshops participants will have access to Q & A. Simply send in a question and we will answer it. For more information please contact Rob Andrew on 6164 0271.

Our credentials

Within its Domestic Violence Services Relationships Australia offers programmes for men, women and children. These services have been offered continuously since 1989.

* We acknowledge the possibility of men as victims of domestic violence, that domestic violence is perpetrated in the LGBTI community. However, men are much more commonly the perpetrators of abuse against women and that is the position adopted in this brochure.

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