The Engage2Change program partners are all Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (GLBTIQ) safe spaces. The Engage2Change program is inclusive for all men who wish to attend to working towards non-violent and respectful relationships.
We understand there may be barriers for some men to attend a group work program. However, we believe you are the best judge of those barriers, and how we may be able to support your hopes for future relationship with self and others.
New program available in Coffs Harbour
There is now a specific program in Coffs Harbour for men who want to stop using violent and controlling behaviour called a Men’s Behaviour Change Program. The Coffs Harbour program is called ‘Engage2Change’ and is based on two core principles:
– Everyone has the right to live their lives freely and safely, and
– Men who have denied anybody this right need to take responsibility for their actions and choose to change.
All men are welcome to attend the program and we run our programs with a strong attendance (zero tolerance) to sexist, racist, homophobic and pro violent discourse.
Fun, romance, good sex, being cared for, feeling valued and safe – that’s what relationships are supposed to be about.
But what if you’re being hurt by someone you love?
Do you feel:
Scared to disagree or to say no?
Constantly criticised and blamed?
Your partner always checks up on you, follows you or harasses you with calls, texts or emails?
Your partner tries to control what you do and who you see?
Made to do sexual things you don’t want to do?
Afraid of being attacked and injured by your partner?
Kept away from your friends, family or children?
Trapped because your partner has threatened to self-harm or commit suicide if you leave?
Your partner is taking advantage of what they see as your weakness or disability?
Your partner tries to control your money or doesn’t share money?
Worried because your partner has threatened to ‘out’ you?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, these are signs that you’re not being treated right. Being abused in a relationship can make you feel anxious and confused and can affect your health and confidence. Some forms of abuse are also against the law.
Abuse is when one partner tries to control or dominate the other.
It can include:
Possessiveness and jealousy
I stopped talking to everyone I cared about, because she was so jealous.
Aggression or violence
I constantly felt afraid, manipulated, and controlled by his threats, outbursts and mood swings
Put-downs and manipulation
She would tell me that if only I was more fun, or thinner, or more affectionate in public – then she could commit to me.
If I didn’t have sex when he wanted it, he’d threaten to leave me to find someone ‘better’.
Is it my fault?
Even though your partner might try to blame you for how they act, it’s not your fault. No matter what you do, a partner shouldn’t hurt you or make you feel bad about yourself. We all get stressed, upset or jealous – but we don’t have to take our feelings out on other people. Trust your feelings and remember that you don’t deserve to be abused. The effects of abuse are serious, so it’s important to get help.
What can I do?
If you’re worried, you could:
- Tell friends you trust. Friends can help by listening and supporting you to stay safe
- Contact a support service. They can listen, provide support and help you work out how to stay safe
- Plan where you can go and who you will call if you feel afraid of your partner. Keep important items together in a safe place in case you have to leave – such as money, keys, bank cards and important documents
- Call the police if you are in danger, or have been physically or sexually assaulted, stalked or harassed. The police can charge the person with a criminal offence
- Apply for a Family Violence Intervention Order. This is a court order aimed at protecting you from abuse or violence. The order places conditions on the abusive person – for example, that they can’t come near you, or can’t abuse you again. It’s a criminal offence to disobey the order.