Abuse Reform Course (03:19)
Family violence is the most common and least recognized form of violence. A Melbourne counseling program seeks to help a group of men change their behavior. This film will follow three participants, Nathan, Justin, and Sasko, over 16 weeks.
Personal Experience with Family Violence (03:37)
Dave Nugent began the Heavy Metal counseling service to address his abusive tendencies and show other men they could change. Jacqui Seamark survived abuse and represents women and children in the course. It provides a safe place for men to open up about their behavior.
Rage Issues (02:08)
Nathan's wife Sue left because of his physical abuse; he lives with their two teenage daughters. Nathan justifies his anger and becomes defensive in group therapy.
Nathan's Story (03:05)
Nathan talks about his violent tendencies and why he's seeking counseling. Sue describes his unpredictable explosions and an abusive episode that caused her to leave; she regrets leaving their teenage daughters.
Sasko's Story (03:50)
Sasko attends counseling to try to prevent physically abusive behavior. His wife Suzanna is afraid he will hurt their children in a fit of rage.
Empowering Women (01:54)
Suzanna attends Jacqui's domestic violence support group. Jacqui helps women become responsible for their choices in responding to abusive behavior.
Justin's Story (02:54)
Justin's alcoholism triggers violence; his father was an abusive alcoholic. He hopes to rebuild trust with his children. Dave and Jacqui are concerned Justin will have a breakdown.
Role Play Therapy Exercise (03:40)
Justin's coworkers see a positive change since he started attending the counseling program. Dave and Jacqui walk him through an incident where he verbally abused a female customer. Justin drinks before attending a session, but Dave believes he should continue attending.
Traditional Man's Rule Book (03:29)
Men who are violent toward women are more likely to hold sexist attitudes. Dave leads a counseling exercise challenging these beliefs. Nathan is emotional after he signed divorce papers.
Manipulative Behavior (03:33)
Dave teaches program participants that abusers assume persecutor, victim, or rescuer roles to maintain control. Sasko feels dis-empowered by maintaining good behavior at home, and denies that "happy" families exist.
Violating Family Trust (03:53)
Suzanna leaves the children with Sasko to attend her women's group. He hits their son; she tells him to leave and reports him to the police. Dave is disheartened, but continues to support Sasko.
Learning to Express Emotion (03:43)
Sasko's violent behavior reveals that the situation at home can deteriorate even when a man wants to change. The key is to counseling. Justin makes a breakthrough in the cycle of abuse.
Making Family Connections (04:07)
Justin recently started reconnecting with his 11-year-old son Cody. He asks Jacqui for advice on connecting with his 18-year-old daughter. Dave believes group therapy has helped Justin realize he does not have to maintain a tough exterior.
Acknowledging Feelings and Abuse (04:40)
Dave and Jacqui remind the men about respectful communication; Nathan learns how he could have avoided an outburst. Sue and Nathan acknowledge Nathan's breakthrough.
Returning to Family (04:04)
Sasko has been living alone but can now return home under strict conditions set by Suzanna. Nathan is determined to be a good father. Sue believes an abuser can change.
Final Week of the Program (04:26)
Suzanna and Sasko are spending the Christmas holiday at home. The risk of family violence is high at Christmas time. Nathan, Sasko, and Justin reflect on their experience in the program.
Credits: Call Me Dad (00:34)
Credits: Call Me Dad
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