13/09/2021 | Vickie Chapman MP

A new program aimed at breaking the cycle of intergenerational domestic violence has launched in South Australia.

The Supporting Parents’ and Children’s Emotions (SPACE) program provides early intervention support to young parents aged between 12 to 25 years, who are experiencing or perpetuating domestic and family violence.

Attorney-General Vickie Chapman said the program aims to reduce the risk of children being exposed to domestic and family violence.

“Domestic violence is too dangerous to inherit,” Attorney-General Chapman 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.

“If you’re vulnerable, are experiencing or perpetrating domestic violence and are starting a family, I urge you to reach out, and consider taking part in this program.

“It will help to ensure young parents and their children are given the chance to experience a life free of domestic abuse,” she said.

The $200,000 program – which is funded through the Justice Rehabilitation Fund – is being delivered by two highly skilled and 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.

In its first month of operation, 40 young parents and 20 children have benefitted from the new 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.

The program’s benefits are already being felt across the health network, with one SPACE social worker saying;

Through SPACE counselling, education sessions and informal conversations with young parents that have taken place so far, I have seen that young parents are 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. 

Adding that SPACE is fast becoming an essential tool in preventing intergenerational domestic violence;

Young parents engaged in SPACE are clearly demonstrating a desire and motivation to understand how to ensure their children are 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: https://breakthecycle.sa.gov.au/