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Magistrates’ Court of Victoria statement regarding the Court Mandated Counselling Order Program (CMCOP)

There has been no funding reduction to the Court Mandated Counselling Order Program (CMCOP).

For some time, the court has been monitoring the efficacy and sustainability of the program. The existing program is unable to deliver at the scale required to best support behaviour change where it is most needed. MCV has therefore made the difficult decision to not extend the current program and instead seeks to deliver behaviour change programs which are more inclusive and sustainable.

Current eligibility requirements and rigid program structure means only around 4 per cent of all respondents to final Family Violence Intervention Orders receive a counselling order. Less than half of that number complete it.

The current program does not cater for the needs of substantial parts of our community. Participants must be adult, male, English speaking, and not cognitively impaired or in significantly poor mental health. It is not tailored for LGBTIQ, CALD or Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander communities.

The Court is working with current providers on transition arrangements and actively pursuing alternative, more sustainable and inclusive programs. 

A new approach is needed to make a real difference and improve the safety and wellbeing of people affected by family violence across the whole community. Now is the time for change to ensure this program best reflects the community we serve.

The Court will continue to build on its significant specialist response to family violence and play its role in the broader system to hold those using violence accountable for their behaviour and help keep people safe.

Last updated on 01 May 2024
Last updated on 01 May 2024
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