24/7 support for men kicking the behaviour of abusive practices

Have you ever wondered how much learning transfer occurs from the in-room or online session you are running back into the person’s life? This is an issue that has vexed me for a very long time. I don’t think we are making the most of how we support men on programs to disrupt family violence to consolidate the changes they are making. 

Over the last four months, we have invested heavily in developing an online app to support men accessing programs. It is designed to provide a resource that men can use outside of programs to support and consolidate changes in behaviour. It is also designed as a resource for program workers to be able to connect with men or a cohort of men, while they are engaged in the program. Facilitators will be able to push material ahead of sessions so that participants can engage in a warm start and make the most of the limited time in any face-to-face contact. 

He Waka Tapu Trust in Christchurch have been developing the backend for this tool and has guided us through the development process. We have named the app Ake. Ake is a kupu in Māori that is about movement. It is about direction. The direction in this app has three parts which are symbolised by the image used throughout.

 

It builds through the following three phases: 

Awareness is about knowing your story. It is about knowing where your story came from. It is about knowing the range of behaviours that you use. It is about awareness of how abusive practices affect others in both the short and long term. 

Accountability is about owning behaviour and accepting responsibility. Despite what can often be a challenging start in life in terms of exposure to family violence, this does not excuse abusive behaviour going forward. At the heart of accountability is to accept our behaviour and take a position to disrupt further harm to others. 

Activation is about changing habits. It is about pioneering a new way of being. It is about leaning into family safety and well-being. It is about breaking family traditions of family and whānau violence and abuse. This is at the heart of changing behaviour and will have long-term benefits not just to the man involved, but to his current or future partner and children.  

This app is designed to support men who have taken on the challenge to disrupt patterns of family and whānau violence as they work through programs. We have built this to support them to be the best they can be.  

Over the next two months, we will be trialling the app with a medium-sized agency.

We are excited to be able to design a tool that can support the work of disrupting family and whānau violence. 

Published on Thursday, May 5th, 2022, under Family violence, Offender work, Programme design & development, What Ken thinks

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