Experts, academics and Government Endorse Specialist Quality Standard for Work With Domestic Violence and Abuse Perpetrators

Media Release from Respect

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday 15th November 2017

Experts, academics and Government Endorse Specialist Quality Standard for Work With Domestic Violence and Abuse Perpetrators

Ahead of promised landmark Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill, leading charity Respect publishes new version of its Standard, to keep past, present and future victims and survivors safer

Respect – the leading voice in the UK on working with perpetrators of domestic violence and abuse – today launches the 3rd edition of its specialist quality standard, with foreword and endorsement from the Home Office.

The Respect Standard sets the bar for effective work with perpetrators of domestic violence and abuse, with the main aim of keeping past, present and future victims and survivors safer.

Victoria Atkins, Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability, said:

“Domestic abuse is an abhorrent crime that affects victims, their families and their wider communities.

“In my new role as Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability Minister I am determined to continue the good work of this Government to protect anyone facing the threat of domestic abuse, identify and pursue offenders and put a stop to their abusive behaviour.

“The Respect Standard is crucial in the fight against domestic abuse. It ensures perpetrator interventions are safe and effective in preventing future abuse and in turn allows victims to rebuild their lives.”

An official launch event for the Standard will take place at the House of Commons later today, hosted by Thangam Debonnaire MP and attended by 60 invited guests, including specialists in the field of domestic violence and abuse and parliamentarians with an interest in this vital work.

The Respect Standard has already received endorsement from a range of professionals, specialist agencies and individual victims and survivors of domestic violence and abuse.

A female survivor whose male partner used a Respect accredited service said:

“It all made sense when I read the standards, not just what the group was about but how this was a service for me, my safety and my children’s safety. The Respect Standard gave me real peace of mind.”

Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid commented:

“The needs of survivors must come first in any work that is carried out with perpetrators of domestic abuse. That’s why we endorse Respect’s updated Respect Standard which ensures that any work with perpetrators is done safely and effectively with survivors’ needs at its heart.

“Respect recognises that domestic abuse is far from gender neutral, that women’s inequality is both a root cause and a consequence of domestic abuse and that domestic abuse is a pattern of behaviours overwhelmingly used by men to exert their power and control over women. The Respect Standard also guarantees that any work with perpetrators of domestic abuse also provides robust and safe support for survivors by ensuring that a parallel programme for survivors runs alongside any work with perpetrators.”

Respect is aiming to increase the number of accredited services, and to encourage commissioners and funders to use Respect accreditation as a core criterion when choosing which services to support.

Dame Vera Baird QC, Police & Crime Commissioner for Northumbria, who last week became an official patron of Respect, said:

“As a Police and Crime Commissioner, I want to ensure I spend my budget wisely on good quality interventions which are effective, but most of all which are safe.

It is all too easy to fund something cheap, but it is a false economy and in the worst cases could actually be dangerous, giving the survivor and other agencies the sense that the perpetrator’s risk was being managed and that there was a chance of change, when that isn’t the case.

The Respect Standard has been carefully researched and reflects best practice at the current time. Work with perpetrators is a relatively new field and is evolving quickly and it’s good to know that the standard is regularly reviewed to reflect emerging knowledge.

It is also great to see a section on innovation, which will help those planning new, un-tested interventions, to develop them in a safe way.”

Diana Barran, Chief Executive of domestic abuse charity SafeLives commented:

“SafeLives recognises the importance of safe and effective work with perpetrators and we welcome the third edition of the Respect standards.

In particular we are pleased to see the evolution of the standards, which now recognise the introduction of new approaches to managing the behaviour of perpetrators while retaining a focus on the safety of victims and children.”

Respect Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jo Todd added:

“Survivors deserve more than support; they need to know that agencies are working together to deal with perpetrators effectively.

That means providing opportunities for perpetrators to change, but it also means holding them to account and taking steps to disrupt and prevent future violence and abuse.

The Standard will support service providers to ensure they’re providing quality services that do no harm, and will enable commissioners to make informed and responsible decisions about what services to fund.”

A man who completed a Respect accredited programme also commented:

“I thought I could never defeat the demon inside of me but the service taught me some incredible tools to change my ways and to help me stay on the straight and narrow. Even when things go wobbly, because of the service I am able to pull myself together.”

Ms Todd added:

“If you’re hurting someone you love, you can choose to stop; contact the Respect Phoneline on 0808 802 4040 for help. Or if you’re concerned about someone’s violent or abusive behaviour, you can also get in touch via the confidential phoneline, email or web chat.”

(920 words)

ENDS

For more information and interviews:
Katie Russell: media@respect.uk.net

http://respect.uk.net/

Notes to editors:

1. The Respect Phoneline is a confidential helpline, email and webchat service for perpetrators of domestic violence looking for help to stop. The service helps male and female perpetrators, in heterosexual or same-sex relationships. Partners or ex-partners of perpetrators, as well as concerned friends and family members and Frontline Workers are also welcome to contact the service for information, advice and support. The phoneline and email service are available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm on 0808 802 4040 (free from landlines and most mobiles) or info@respectphoneline.org.uk. Web chat is available Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am until 4pm: http://respectphoneline.org.uk/
2. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 26% of women and 14% of men had experienced domestic abuse since the age of 16, equivalent to an estimated 4.3 million female victims and 2.2 million male victims: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/compendium/focusonviolentcrimeandsexualoffences/yearendingmarch2016/domesticabusesexualassaultandstalking

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