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Healthy Relationships Program

The new Healthy Relationships Program has been developed specifically for women in prison and will be evaluated by Flinders University.

Collaborating with Northern Domestic Violence Service and Flinders University, Relationships Australia SA‘s Specialised Family Violence Service has written and developed the Healthy Relationships Program. This program is specifically designed to meet the needs of women in prison and is sensitive to the reality that women in corrections have extensive victimisation histories.

Relationships Australia SA was the successful recipient of a grant application from the Department for Correctional Services. The grant provided initial funding for the program’s research and development.

Relationships Australia SA’s Specialised Family Violence Service and Northern Domestic Violence Staff are delivering eight week programs at the Adelaide Women’s Prison.

The program will cover respectful and disrespectful relationships, the components that make up these relationships and what women might need to build healthier relationships.

It will also include topics such as the impacts of gender and stereotypes on women’s roles in society; how women see themselves and the expectations placed on women; and address identifying domestic violence, busting some myths and naming abuse. The program will aim to build on individual strengths and explore how women can care for themselves and why this is important.

The program will also address how incarceration and domestic violence may impact on relationships and parenting and where women can go for help, how to connect into community and what are the barriers for accessing these services.

Whilst programs are delivered to women who are incarcerated or have survived domestic violence, very few are formally evaluated to determine the effectiveness and how it has met women’s needs. With this in mind, the program aims to start a foundation of research which can be built on over time. The initial pilot program commenced in August 2016 will be evaluated by a research team from Flinders University.

For more information about the Healthy Relationships Program, please contact Mel at the Elizabeth office on 08 8255 3323.