The Back on Track: A Men’s’ Group for Positive Change gives men who are struggling with the use of violence in their personal relationships real and meaningful opportunities to make change. We understand that for men to take important first steps for their families, children and to regain their self respect, that they often need help. Supporting men’s readiness to make changes around the use of violence is made easier by not going at it alone.
For men who engage in our counselling and group programs such as Back on Track, we know there are important motivating factors such as wanting to be a better father or partner. Men often say things such as “there’s a history of violence that goes right back in my family, and I want it to stop.” Men also talk about wanting their children to have different memories of them than they have of their own fathers, “I want to see in my kids’ eyes that they love me, not fear me.”
A key focus of the program is giving men practical ways to start to make changes and to stop falling into old habits of blaming others for their behaviour. The program also provides support, information and referrals for partners and children. Back on Track is based in the Northern suburbs as we have identified that there are particular gaps in this area and we are working closely with services in region.
Engaging men who use violence about the ongoing consequences of their actions, building a structure around the process of accepting responsibility, and assisting them to seek help in changing their behaviour are seen as vitally important strategies to avert further harm to their families and themselves. It can be argued that this is possibly one of the most important things we can do to improve family wellbeing in our community.
“What I was doing wasn’t who I was,” said one of the group members. “I realised I had choices, and I could see that I could change.”
David Tully, Practice Manager for Specialised Family Violence Services and facilitator of Back on Track, spoke with Radio Adelaide recently about the program. Listen to the full interview here.