Department of Family and Community Services
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Perpetrator Interventions and Research

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Men’s Telephone Counselling and Referral Service

The NSW Government funds NSW’s first telephone counselling and referral service for violent or potentially violent men to help reduce domestic violence. Changing the behaviour and attitudes of men who use violence lies at the heart of reducing domestic and family violence.

The Men’s Telephone Counselling and Referral Service is:

  • providing a toll-free number across NSW, 24 hours a day, seven days a week - 1300 766 491;
  • staffed by trained counsellors who support male callers to take responsibility for their abusive behaviour and end the violence against their family;
  • referring callers to men’s behaviour change programs or other service providers for longer-term support, such as specialist counselling or legal advisory services; and
  • supporting family members who call the line because they are concerned about the behaviour of a male partner or family member.
  • The service is operated by No To Violence which has more than 20 years’ experience in managing men’s referral services interstate.

Automatic Referral Pathway to the Men's Telephone Counselling and Referral Service

The Automatic Referral Pathway to the Men’s Telephone Counselling and Referral Service supports a consistent and integrated response to domestic and family violence incidents in NSW.

The Automatic Referral Pathway:

  • Provides for the automatic referral of adult males from the NSW Police Force to the Men’s Telephone Counselling and Referral Service who have been involved or implicated in a domestic and family violence incident and who have been assessed as the primary aggressor.
  • Applies only to adult males who have been charged and/or whom an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order has been applied for or issued against following the domestic and family violence incident.
  • Allows for the NSW Police Force to make a referral to the Men’s Telephone Counselling and Referral Service without consent.
  • The Men’s Telephone Counselling and Referral Service will request the man’s consent to engage with the service when they make contact.
  • Offers immediate counselling  and referral to appropriate support services.

Automatic Referral Pathway Privacy Notice:

  1. What is the Automatic Referral Pathway?

    The Automatic Referral Pathway is a program for men who:

    • have been charged with a domestic violence offence; and/or
    • are subject to an application for, or a finalised, apprehended domestic violence order (ADVO).

    The program involves telephone counselling provided by the Men’s Telephone Counselling and Referral Service, a non-government organisation contracted by the NSW Department of Family and Community Services.

  2. Why have I been contacted?

    If you meet this criteria, your information has been automatically transferred from the NSW Police Force to a secure portal. The Men’s Telephone Counselling and Referral Service accessed your details from this portal.

    You can choose whether or not to speak with the Men’s Telephone Counselling and Referral Service. There is no obligation on you to participate in telephone counselling, and you may stop at any time.

  3. What can the Men’s Referral Service do for me?

    Your Men’s Telephone Counselling and Referral Service worker will provide you with immediate counselling and information, and will also assess if there is any existing threat to you or anyone else. Your case manager may also refer you to other local support services that can help you.

  4. Protecting your information is important to us

    Your personal and health information is stored on a secure portal, and all Men’s Telephone Counselling and Referral Service staff are trained in the safe handling of information.

    After contact from a Men’s Telephone Counselling and Referral Service case worker no further information will be shared without your consent.

  5. Your consent, your information

    Your consent will remain valid until you no longer wish to participate in telephone counselling. You can withdraw your consent at any time by telling your case worker.

  6. Information exchange

    In some cases it may be helpful for the Men’s Telephone Counselling and Referral Service to share your information with other service providers, such as:

    • Health services
    • Men’s behaviour change services
    • Counselling services
    • Employment services.
    • Other social services.

    The Men’s Telephone Counselling and Referral Service will always obtain your explicit, verbal consent in each case before sharing your information.

    You do not have to consent to your information being shared to participate in telephone counselling.

  7. When are we obliged to disclose your information?

    We are required by law to disclose your information in certain circumstances, such as:

    • If your information is subject to a subpoena
    • If your information relates to the commission (or possible commission) of a crime or investigation of a crime
    • Where your safety or another person’s safety (including a child) is considered to be at risk.
  8. What is the complaints process for privacy breaches?
    • If you feel there has been a breach of your personal information related to the Automatic Referral Pathway, you can make a complaint to the Men’s Telephone Counselling and Referral Service by contacting the Operations Manager on 03 9487 4500.

Where can I find more information about privacy?

Visit the website of the Information and Privacy Commission NSW at: https://www.ipc.nsw.gov.au/privacy, or contact the Information and Privacy Commission NSW for general enquiries on 1800 472 679 or email: ipcinfo@ipc.nsw.gov.au.

The NSW Automatic Referral Pathway Privacy Code of Practice and Health Privacy Code of Practice are available at: https://www.ipc.nsw.gov.au/privacy-codes-practice

Men’s Behaviour Change Network

The government is also funding the establishment of the Men’s Behaviour Change Network, an advisory body for effective ways of working with men to reduce domestic and family violence.

The network shares information and ideas on men’s behaviour change, develops better practice, and creates consistency within the sector. It also takes a lead role in developing and facilitating training for new and existing men’s behaviour change workers, and support groups to meet minimum practice standards set by the NSW Government.

Current members of the network include BaptistCare Services LifeCare, CatholicCare Sydney, Hastings Women and Children’s Refuge, Kempsey Family Support Service, Men and Family Centre, and Relationships Australia.

Apprehended Domestic Violence Order Pilot Program

The Department of Family and Community Services partnered with Legal Aid NSW to support a Legal Aid NSW pilot program aimed at reducing breaches of Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVOs).

The pilot program was announced by the Minister for Women, the Hon. Pru Goward MP, on 9 August 2013.

Under the pilot program, which ran until 8 November 2013, Legal Aid NSW lawyers provided a specialised duty service at Burwood Local Court to ADVO defendants for approximately 12 weeks. It was proposed that defendants who receive individual legal advice may be less likely to breach their ADVO rules.

The project was evaluated by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.