Breaking The Cycle
Breaking the Cycle is an intervention, prevention and diversion program that was designed by Aboriginal people with both lived and professional experience in the justice system targeted towards men who harm or have harmed.
Breaking the Cycle program is a structured intervention program designed to help Aboriginal men who have engaged in harmful or abusive behaviours change their behaviour and attitudes. BTC is aimed at addressing issues such as domestic violence, anger management, substance abuse, and other behaviours that may cause harm to themselves or others. The goals of such programs are to promote personal growth, accountability, and ultimately, to reduce the risk of reoffending or causing harm to women and children.
The key components in BTC are:
- Referral/Assessment: Participants typically undergo an initial assessment to determine suitability, the nature and severity of their behaviours. This assessment helps program facilitators tailor interventions to meet the individual needs of each participant.
- Education (20-week program): Participants receive information about the impact of their behaviour on others and on themselves. This education often includes strategies for emotional regulation, discussions on power and control dynamics, the consequences, and harms of abusive behaviour on themselves and others, and the implications of their actions on women and children.
- Skill-Building: Men’s behaviour change programs often teach participants skills such as communication, conflict resolution, emotional regulation, and stress management. These skills are essential for building healthier relationships and addressing the underlying issues that contribute to harmful behaviour.
- Accountability: Participants are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions and the harm they have caused. This may involve making amends, restitution, or other forms of accountability (where safe and appropriate).
- Group Therapy: We incorporate group therapy sessions where participants can share their experiences, learn from one another, and provide support and feedback.
- Individual Counselling/Case Management: In addition to group therapy, participants may receive individual support/counselling to address personal issues and develop a personalised plan that supports behaviour change.
- Monitoring and Follow-up: Progress is monitored throughout the program, and participants may be required to adhere to court-mandated conditions or probation terms.
- Referrals: Participants may be referred to additional services or resources, such as substance abuse treatment, mental health services, or vocational training, to address underlying issues contributing to their behaviour.
- Cultural Connections and Competence: As an ACCO, the foundation of our programs are built on connection to culture which is a protective factor. DC recognises the importance of cultural safety and competence and tailor our response and any interventions to address and strengthen the cultural identity of participants.
The program provides culturally responsive services and support whilst addressing criminogenic risk factors, criminal/violent ideologies/behaviours and other challenges that cause harm or direct and entrench people into the justice system. The program uses specialist interventions and support to divert participants away from the criminal legal system and create safer communities by providing; intensive, holistic, individualised support provided through a specialised, culturally responsive intensive model of service delivery; and targeted programming to address a multitude of risk factors commonly associated with harmful behaviours based on the needs of the client. This includes a variety of approaches including healing, cultural activities, living skills, counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy, educational support programs, employment training, alcohol and drug use interventions, and restorative justice interventions. Across the many individuals supported through the program there is a wide variety of needs and these approaches are drawn upon to give people the best chance to end their use of harmful behaviours.