The Men’s Referral Service and No to Violence continue to operate to provide essential services to end men’s use of violence – a critical need in our society and even more vital after this, the second crisis, to hit Australia this year.
The team’s transition was fast and efficient – many of the staff could work from home and have done so. The Men’s Referral Service is primarily based at our Melbourne office, but the team has drawn together resources over the past two weeks to transition to remote working. This is a significant step for a phone counselling service and is a credit to the agility of all staff involved.
The sector is responding to restrictions on social distancing by using video conferencing platforms and offering their services remotely. Technology can greatly assist during the pandemic but the systems can’t always replicate traditional delivery. The daily outreach to members that we’ve been offering is giving the sector capacity to work together to troubleshoot current and potential issues and navigate a best practice.
No to Violence are publishing practice guidelines to be used during the pandemic to assist as many sector workers as possible and to be readily available for ongoing reference. These will be available on the website soon.
We are continuing to work with the media who are widely reporting on their concerns for a possible increase in domestic and family violence. Self-isolation can be scary when you live in a volatile environment and that’s why we’re reaching out to family safety organisations to ensure we’re working collaboratively and that we may continue to help people using AND facing violence.
Our training team has understandably had to halt most of its deliverables and many training sessions were cancelled. The pandemic has not impacted many of the deadlines for the advocacy team and they’re dedicating themselves to ensure the sector is represented at its best.
This pandemic has come as a shock to some but the agility of the staff and dedication to continuing to provide service is welcomed.