Graham House offers a rehabilitation program for domestic violence offenders.
Graham House offers a rehabilitation program for domestic violence offenders. lolostock

Community centre offering DV offender rehabilitation

SUPPORT for victims of domestic violence is paramount but programs to rehabilitate offenders can be hard to come by.

Murgon community centre Graham House runs the only behavioural change program in the South Burnett.

Graham House manager Linda O'Hare said the program changed from anger management to behavioural change in July after the overhaul of how Queensland deals with domestic violence and the Not Now, Not Ever report.

Mrs O'Hare said perpetrators could be mandated to the 13 week program by a court order, referred by probation and parole or from other community services.

"The program is designed to make men accountable for their actions, take responsibility for their actions and change their behaviour,” she said.

"We are only on our third program now, it's very early days to find out what the results are going to be.”

Mrs O'Hare said many offenders didn't understand that their behaviour was domestic violence.

"Some of then are denying that they are at fault, it doesn't take long for them to see the light,” she said.

"They think that just because they didn't hit their partners that it's not domestic violence but it's emotional, financial and sexual abuse.”

The program gives the men strategies to help communicate, listen to their partners and make compromises.

It also teaches fathers the effects domestic violence has on their children.

Mrs O'Hare said funding was needed to rehabilitate offenders and stop them from becoming homeless.

"There are no men's shelters in the South Burnett,” she said.

"If we can prevent one death we are achieving something, and the importance of educating our young.”