Nottinghamshire Police launches domestic abuse prevention programme to focus on offenders following Home Office funding
Perpetrators of domestic abuse will receive professional help to change their behaviour under a new £200,000 programme being launched in Nottinghamshire.
The county's Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping has successfully applied for funds from the Home Office to launch a pilot perpetrator programme for men and women using abusive behaviour in intimate relationships to help safeguard the lives of their partners, ex-partners and children.
The PCC, alongside local authority partners, already funds primary and secondary schools-based prevention activity.
He also funds a domestic abuse Integrated Offender Manager (IOM) scheme to manage the offending of the top 40 domestic abuse perpetrators in the city and county, providing grants to deliver survivor support.
Despite this, the PCC, Nottinghamshire Police and other partners are aware more needs to be done locally to work with offenders to change their behaviour and help them to develop respectful, non-abusive relationships.
The full grant, which amounts to £207,307, will fund a new perpetrator programme delivered by the Jenkins Centre in Leicestershire — part of the charity Freeva — in conjunction with Nottingham specialist domestic abuse agency Equation.
Meanwhile, survivor support services, which will run alongside the programme, will be provided by Juno and Nottinghamshire Women's Aid.
Mr Paddy Tipping said: "One of my top priorities is protecting vulnerable people, including victims of domestic abuse, and I absolutely remain committed to delivering justice.
"However, encouraging evidence has shown perpetrator programmes can help prevent future incidents and safeguard the lives of survivors and their families by holding serial offenders accountable for their actions and delivering the intervention necessary to have a long-term impact on their behaviour.
"Clearly, we must deliver a comprehensive response to domestic abuse encompassing both victims and perpetrators to reduce incidents. Perpetrators are entirely responsible for the harm they cause and while we will always prioritise support to victims, the onus should be on offenders to address their behaviour to stop other victims suffering in the future."
The programmes, which are accredited by Respect, will include:
- A 24-week group programme for men only to change their violence and abuse behaviour.
- A 24-week Individual Interventions Programme for female perpetrators, non-English speakers, perpetrators in same-sex relationships and for perpetrators unsuitable for the male group programme.
- A 10-week Dads Parenting Programme focusing on restorative parenting (post-abuse) and accountability to children
- A monthly maintenance group
- A parallel Partner Support Service offering emotional, practical and safety planning support for partners/ex-partners of perpetrators engaged in interventions
- Training and service briefings to multi-agency professionals.
- Perpetrators will be referred to the programme from Nottinghamshire Police following a suitability assessment which will consider issues such as willingness and readiness to change to maximise the chances of achieving sustainable improvements.
The programme will consider high-risk perpetrators, medium or standard risk perpetrators and young perpetrators and is expected to open for referrals in December.