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Domestic Violence Service returns funding - saying they cannot help men

The Central Coast service, Domestic Violence Intervention Response Team (DVIRT), was last year ordered by the Department of Community Services to change its core function to include helping male victims of domestic violence. The group had been negotiating with the Department of Corrective Services (DoCS), but talks broke down last month and the program is being temporarily run by police until another group willing to comply with the orders is found. "We are not prepared to compromise the integrity of our service by continuing to operate DVIRT under the onerous and inappropriate conditions being imposed by DoCS," a letter to the department, co-signed by Ms Gaunt, read. The letter said changing the program to work with men was in conflict with DVIRT's constitution and would breach a funding agreement with Legal Aid, therefore risking future funding for the scheme. "Our safe room at court can contain more than 30 women... and would not be an appropriate place for male victims to be supported," she said.

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