PROGRAM EXPANSION: The MenTER program (Men Towards Equal Relationships) has expanded in Gladstone. Pictured are Michelle Coats from Rio Tinto Community Fund, Nicolle Baker from Gladstone Women's Health Centre, Catherine Lamb from Australia's CEO Challenge, Brigitte Geenen and Robert Jones from Gladstone Women's Health Centre and Tess Poplawski from Australia's CEO Challenge.
PROGRAM EXPANSION: The MenTER program (Men Towards Equal Relationships) has expanded in Gladstone. Pictured are Michelle Coats from Rio Tinto Community Fund, Nicolle Baker from Gladstone Women's Health Centre, Catherine Lamb from Australia's CEO Challenge, Brigitte Geenen and Robert Jones from Gladstone Women's Health Centre and Tess Poplawski from Australia's CEO Challenge. Photopia Studio

Expanded program to help put a stop to domestic violence

IN AN attempt to tackle family and domestic violence in the Gladstone region, Australia's CEO Challenge, Gladstone Women's Health Centre and Rio Tinto's Here for Gladstone have joined forces to expand the MenTER program to reach men who are committed to changing their patterns of abusive behaviour.

Gladstone Women's Health Centre director Dr Brigitte Geenen said the voluntary program was about "changing attitudes, beliefs and actions to help address domestic violence at its roots”. "The program is open to anyone who acknowledges they need to change and are willing to do so,”she said.

"MenTER is an educational program providing tools and strategies to men who are using violence/abuse against their intimate partners and/or their children and who want to change their behaviour.”

Dr Geenen said it was important to focus on the prevention of domestic violence as well as supporting the victims.

"By just focusing on support to victims, we never close the tap of domestic and family violence,” she said.

The MenTER program was launched in Gladstone in mid-2018 but was only available to men who were referred through the justice system.

Dr Geenen said the program's goal was to reduce the number of domestic violence offenders.

"The feedback we have so far received is that the program does indeed change people's attitudes, actions and behaviour,” Dr Geenen said.

The expanded program is free and comprises of two two-hour sessions each week for 10 weeks at PCYC Gladstone.

Dr Geenen said men did not need to be referred to participate in the program but those interested do need to attend an interview with the male facilitator.

Anyone interested can phone the MenTER line on 0490056112 or email admin@gladstonementer.org.au.