Parenting sessions in Shepparton to address family violence

By Shepparton News

The Ethnic Council of Shepparton held its first session to help prevent domestic violence and improve family relationships on Friday.

Program facilitator Thon Thon said statistics showed men were responsible for most violence in the home.

“(This session) was about asking the men what your parenting role with young children is,” he said.

The session focused on fathers building a relationship with their child and raising them in Australian culture.

“The main focus of today is parenting. How to raise a child in two different cultures,” Thon Thon said.

Dr Santino Atem Deng, who spoke during the session, said children needed to feel accepted.

"If we don’t feel accepted then we don’t feel like we belong,” he said.

“There are aspects of being picked on because we are different — (that's) racism, discrimination."

Ethnic Council of Shepparton representative Andrew Murley said it was hoped the program would help parents to navigate through the integration of cultures and raise children to feel okay about being in-between both cultures.

“(This program) is teaching them to mix their culture and bring that in line with the new culture they’ve got living here in Australia,” he said.

 “If they’re not in their parents’ culture and they’re not in Australian culture then they are somewhere in the middle.

“We want children to believe they belong somewhere and that their culture is not bad, their culture is good — it’s just mixed.”

The program will run until October and will eventually involve whole families.

It will cover topics including building respectful relationships within families, raising children in Australia, mental health awareness and suicide prevention and changing men’s behaviour.

The sessions are on October 4, October 18 and October 25.

For information, email [email protected]