News

Horse therapy for family violence victims

By Country News

Young people recovering from family violence in the Goulburn region will receive equine therapy as part of a Victorian Government $21 million investment in therapeutic interventions for victim survivors.

Prevention of Family Violence Minister Gabrielle Williams visited Yea last Wednesday ««February 26»» to see the Horses Assisting You program in action and hear first-hand from those who have benefited from equine therapy.

Ms Williams said spending time with the horses could have a calming effect and help people who have suffered trauma to build trust and overcome their fears.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

Equine therapy is a relatively new form of psychological treatment in which clients spend time in a paddock with a horse.

The horse helps participants relax and feel safe and encourages them to work through past trauma.

The HAY program has 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 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 statewide 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.