Horses are helping young people in the Goulburn region recover from family violence as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s $21 million investment in therapeutic interventions for victim survivors.
Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams today visited Yea to see the Horses Assisting You program in action and hear first-hand from those who have benefited from equine therapy.
Delivered by Nexus Primary Health, Primary Care Connect and FamilyCare, equine therapy is a relatively new form of psychological treatment in which clients spend time in a paddock in the presence of a horse.
The horse helps relax participants and encourages them to work through past trauma and help them begin to feel safe once again – taking psychology sessions out of the office and into the paddock.
The HAY program is shown to decrease symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress and has helped clients understand safety boundaries, identify emotions and reconnect after the trauma of family violence.
The Labor Government has invested more than $1 million in funding for family violence therapeutic services, including dedicated Aboriginal services, in the Goulburn area – an increase of more than 220 per cent.
The Royal Commission into Family Violence highlighted the need for therapeutic interventions that are tailored to the diverse identities and experiences of Victorians, and the importance of strengthening the delivery of therapeutic services that focus on the needs of children and young people.
The state-wide funding follows the completion of 26 demonstration projects to trial new ways of providing intensive therapeutic support to Victorians experiencing or recovering from family violence.
Quotes attributable to Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams
“This program is all about helping young people recover from family violence in a safe and supportive environment – using equine therapy to reduce their symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress.”
“Spending time with these animals can have a calming effect, helping people who have suffered trauma build trust and overcome their fears.”
“Horses Assisting You has shown to be a great success, which is why we’re investing in more therapeutic services like this and ensuring these programs are available to all Victorians across the state.”
Reviewed 29 June 2020