Media coverage of domestic abuse is usually focused on victims and survivors, which is right of course. But for too long, perpetrators have been ignored. It’s time for a national conversation on why (mostly) men abuse and what we can do to stop them. So we welcome Panorama shining the spotlight on perpetrators in its programme tonight ‘Can Violent Men Change?’
Respect has been leading the development of work with perpetrators in the UK for nearly 20 years, making sure that it is safe and puts survivors’ needs first.
Poor practice puts women and children at greater risk, which is why we developed evidence-based principles and standards to ensure work with perpetrators is safe and effective.
Independent research (2015), showed that Respect accredited behaviour change programmes significantly reduce physical and sexual violence when provided alongside support for survivors as part of a coordinated community response.
These programmes only work when those attending want to change. Other solutions are needed for those who continue their abuse. The Drive project, a partnership between Respect, SafeLives and Social Finance being trialled at the moment, focuses on limiting the perpetrator’s opportunity to abuse through police and multi-agency disruption activities.
There is still a great deal to do. If we are to do it properly, we need to work together and invest funding for work with perpetrators without taking away from survivor services. Both are essential if we are to end domestic abuse for good.
During the programme the Respect Phoneline 0808 802 4040 will be opening its lines and taking calls, from 8.30-10.30pm.