We are delighted to publish the 3rd edition of the Respect Standard which is designed to ensure safe, effective, accountable work with perpetrators of domestic violence and abuse.

Download: Respect Standard 15.11.17

Download: Respect Outcomes Framework 15.11.17 

“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.”

Female survivor whose partner completed a Respect Accredited Programme


Respect Standard (3rd edition) – endorsements 

Victoria Atkins, Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability:   “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.”

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

“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.”

Katie Ghose – Chief Executive, Women’s Aid:

“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.”

Diana Barran – Chief Executive, SafeLives:

“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.”

Eleri Butler – Chief Executive, Welsh Women’s Aid:

Welsh Women’s Aid welcomes and endorses Respect’s updated Standard and outcomes framework, which has been developed in line with survivors’ experiences and places their well-being, safety and freedom from abuse at their centre. The Standard provides a robust UK accreditation framework that ensures all those working with perpetrators develop, deliver and manage services that prioritise keeping survivors safe. Our National Quality Service Standards for specialist services in Wales encourages adherence to the Respect Standard where work with perpetrators takes place, and we also call on Welsh Government and commissioners in Wales to make sure that any services developed for domestic abuse perpetrators, in any organisation, are sufficiently resourced to meet this Standard, including the provision of safety and support for survivors of abuse. We look forward to collaborating with Respect to develop future work on parallel standards to address perpetrators of all forms of violence against women and girls, in future.

Marai Larasi – Director, Imkaan:

“On behalf of the team at Imkaan, I would like to congratulate Respect on the launch of the 3rd edition of the Respect Standards.

We know that it is important that we develop different mechanisms for ensuring that women and children are safe, and that men are held to account for their violent behaviour. Well-run perpetrator interventions are an important part of this ending violence against women ‘eco-system’. The Respect Standards ensure that those interventions are of the highest quality, including through keeping the safety of women and children at the centre and emphasising the need for a strong, diverse gendered analysis.

I wish you every success with this next phase, and thank the team at Respect for all your hard work. Together we can end violence against women and children and create a safe and equal world!”

Dr Nicola Sharp-Jeffs – Director, Survivoring Economic Abuse (SEA):

“The requirement that organisations use outcome measurement tools across all the arenas of a woman’s life that abusive men target is welcome. Control of economic resources is common so it is important to be able to identify what interventions lead to greatest impact.”

Fiona Dwyer – Strategic Violence Against Women & Girls Lead, Public Health, Haringey Council:

“We only commission Respect accredited programmes because it means that the focus is on the quality of delivery, risk management and safeguarding, and importantly the partner safety and support service. Other programmes are prescriptive of the content of the programmes but not about the delivery in the same way that Respect is.”

Estelle du Boulay, Director, Rights of Women

“We would like to endorse the 3rd edition of the standards being launched by Respect today. We admire the work Respect does and value its role as a leading voice in our sector around ensuring that services working with perpetrators are streamlined and effective. This is a crucial part of working towards improved access to justice and safety for survivors.”

HMI Zoe Billington – HMI for police and fire & rescue services in the East, South East and East Midlands, HMICFRS’s lead on domestic abuse, police effectiveness and fire & rescue:

“I welcome these new guidelines. They should help to ensure that programmes run by police forces and other partner agencies designed to stop perpetrators of domestic abuse from re-offending, are of a consistent and high quality. These programmes have a vital role in helping to make all the difference to survivors of domestic abuse.”

Louisa Rolfe – Deputy Chief Constable West Midlands Police & National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Lead Domestic Abuse:

“Domestic Abuse is a priority for policing and we strive to ensure the safety of victims and bring perpetrators to justice but this is not a problem solved by prosecution alone.  To really make a difference for victims, survivors and families we must work with others to ensure perpetrators change their behaviour.  The Respect standards give us confidence that perpetrator programmes are professionally delivered and meet clear standards based upon the best understanding of what works.”

Professor Marianne Hester – Chair in Gender, Violence & International Policy – Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Gender-Based Violence, University of Bristol:

“The new Respect Standards provide a crucial framework for all services and interventions for perpetrators of domestic violence and abuse, with safety of survivors and children at the centre, whatever the format of the intervention.”

Professor Nicole Westmarland – Director, Durham Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA):

“It is easy to see that a lot of hard work, time and energy has gone into producing these revised standards. But that’s what safe, good practice takes, and what this consists of is constantly developing. Moving with advancements in research and practice means revising the standards when needed and thereby ensuring that Respect accreditation continues to be the marker of quality and safety for the sector.”

Professor David Gadd – Professor of Criminology, Director of the Centre for Criminology & Criminal Justice, University of Manchester:

“Principled and pragmatic. Realistic and progressive. These standards will continue to make a critical difference to those who have lived with the threat of domestic violence and those looking to change their behaviour towards partners and children.”

Dr Emma Williamson – Reader in Gender Based Violence, Head: Centre for Gender and Violence Research, University of Bristol:

“The new Respect standards (2017) reinforce the importance of keeping the safety of victims/survivors, and their children, at the heart of work with perpetrators of abuse.  The new guidance recognises that different models of work might be appropriate for different groups of perpetrators, but that key core standards are still crucial to making and sustaining change in a safe way.

Maintaining high standards of evidence to support their accreditation processes, Respect also provide a framework for those delivering services to understand how gender impacts on the causes, consequences, prevalence, impact, and experience of both abuse and service responses.

As researchers in the field we welcome the new standards as a safeguard to ensuring that programmes do no harm and continue to make positive changes to individual lives and families, as well as within wider communities and society as a whole.”

Professor Liz Kelly, Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit, London Metropolitan University:

“I welcome this version of the Respect standards, which reflect some of the learnings from the Mirabal project, at the same time as evolving to recognise a changing landscape.”

Nicole Jacobs, CEO, Standing Together:

“At a time when there is a desire to develop and pilot new interventions and services to address perpetrators of abuse, the RESPECT standards are critical to ensure the safety of the survivor is paramount.”

Donna Covey CBE, Director of AVA (Against Violence and Abuse):

Work with perpetrators is essential in ensuring that all women have the chance to live free from domestic abuse. The Respect Standard ensures that this work can be carried out safely, putting the needs of survivors and their children at the heart  of the approach . We advise all commissioners we work with to commission respect accredited services- in the knowledge this ensures high quality, evidence based survivor focused services.

Rachel Griffin, Director, The Suzy Lamplugh Trust:

I welcome the 3rd edition of the Respect standard which puts victims’ safety at the heart of work with perpetrators.  It is reassuring to see Respect responding to innovation in this field and ensuring programmes are robust and, most importantly, safe.

Cafcass (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service):

Cafcass welcomes the new standard and the support it gives us in commissioning the best services for children and families.

Davina James-Hanman, Independent Consultant, Chair of Respect’s Accreditation Panel:

I am delighted to welcome the latest version of the Respect standards which have rightly been reviewed and updated to ensure their continuing relevance. As Chair of the Accreditation Panel, I hold responsibility for ensuring that all accredited services meet these exacting standards which is essential not only for the credibility and integrity of the interventions, but more importantly, to ensure that survivors and their children are made safer by this work.

The Respect Standard±

The Respect Standard sets out an evidence-based, safety-focused framework which identifies good practice and offers guidance for organisations to ensure that they are meeting the needs of service users safely and effectively. By evidencing that they meet the Respect Standard, organisations demonstrate their competence in working with perpetrators of domestic violence and abuse with the safety of survivors and their children at the heart.

It encompasses all work an organisation carries out with perpetrators, including:

o   early intervention

o   behaviour change programmes (groupwork or 1-2-1)

o   high intensity case management with high risk perpetrators

o   disruption activities

And it covers the whole cohort of perpetrators:

o   men and women in straight or same sex relationships

o   those who are motivated to change and those who aren’t

o   those presenting different levels of risk and need

Included in the Respect Standard is a set of principles which should underpin all work with perpetrators.


1)    Do no harm. Organisations take all reasonable steps to ensure that their services do not create additional risks for survivors of domestic violence and abuse.

2)    Gender matters. Organisations work in a way that is gender informed, recognising the gender asymmetry that exists in the degree, frequency and impact of domestic violence and abuse.  They understand that men’s violence against women and girls is an effect of the structural inequality between men and women and that its consequences are amplified by this. A gender analysis includes violence and abuse perpetrated by women against men and abuse in same-sex relationships, and these also require a gender informed response.

3)    Safety first. The primary aim of work with perpetrators is to increase the safety and wellbeing of survivors and their children. The provision of an Integrated Support Service for survivors alongside the intervention for perpetrators is essential. When working with perpetrators it is important to recognise the need for behaviour change, but risk reduction should always be prioritised.

4)    Sustainable change. Organisations offer interventions that are an appropriate match to the perpetrator, considering the risks they pose, the needs they have and their willingness and ability to engage with the service offered. This will ensure that they are offered a realistic opportunity of achieving sustainable change

5)    Fulfilling lives. Organisations are committed to supporting all service users to have healthy, respectful relationships and to lead fulfilling lives.

6)    The system counts. Domestic violence and abuse cannot be addressed by one agency alone and work with perpetrators should never take place in isolation. Organisations are committed to working with partners to improve responses as part of their local multiagency arrangements.

7)    Services for all. Organisations recognise and respect the diversity of their local community and take steps to respond to everyone according to their needs.

8)    Respectful communities. Organisations recognise that the environment their service users live in has an impact on their lives. They will make the links between individual change and the development of respectful communities.

9)    Competent staff. Organisations deliver a safe, effective service by developing the skills, well-being and knowledge of their staff through training, supervision and case work support.

10) Measurably effective services. Organisations employ clear and proportionate measurement tools, which demonstrate both the individual benefits and the impact of interventions.

Respect Accreditation±

Respect Accreditation is the nationally recognised quality assurance scheme for organisations working with perpetrators of domestic violence and abuse in the UK.  Respect accreditation:

·         Is a robust and thorough full scrutiny audit, carried out by expert assessors

·         Ensures that all services meet or exceed quality standards in management, intervention delivery, diversity and equality, multiagency work and where applicable in innovation design.

·         Includes a desk top review, site visits, dip sampling of client work videos and interviews with staff and stakeholders

·         Considers the organisation’s whole offer to perpetrators of DVA and linked work with survivors:

·         stage one focuses on safety and risk management

·         stage two on quality and effectiveness

·         an organisation must pass both to become accredited

·         Is awarded by an independent panel of experts

·         Must be renewed every three years, or earlier if there are significant changes to the structure or operation of the organisation or services.

The benefits of Respect Accreditation±

·         gives confidence to survivors that their safety is paramount

·         supports providers to deliver safe, effective and accountable services

·         enables commissioners and funders to make sound decisions

·         ensures a consistent approach across different areas and types of agency

·         supports safe and responsible innovation

·         aligns with national priorities and Violence Against Women and Girls strategies and standards

The Respect Outcomes framework±

Respect has developed an outcomes framework to accompany the Respect Standard with 5 key outcomes. These include three service user outcomes for perpetrators, survivors and children and young people and two organisational outcomes for multiagency work and the effective targeting of service provision.  Measuring these outcomes will ensure that: 

·         Survivors have confidence that any intervention with an abusive partner or ex-partner has their own and any children’s safety at its heart.

·         Commissioners, funders and referring agencies know that a service has taken all reasonable steps to work in a way which is safe, effective and accountable.

·         Organisations can demonstrate that the services they provide have a positive benefit.

Outcomes framework±

You can download the outcomes framework at the top of the page.

Applying for accreditation±

The minimum unit considered for accreditation is a service working with perpetrators with appropriate integrated safety and support service for survivors.

Respect accreditation applies to services in the voluntary, statutory or private sectors including those operating as a partnership or consortium of organisations. Where there is a partnership or consortium the organisation leading on the delivery of the intervention will hold the accreditation.

Respect currently only accredits organisations based in the UK.  For information about standards of work with perpetrators in the rest of Europe please go to the Working with Perpetrators – European Network.

Organisations running an intervention with perpetrators without support for survivors cannot be considered for accreditation as they are unsafe and fundamentally breach the Respect Standard’s core principles.

If your organisation would like to apply for accreditation please contact the Respect office on 020 7549 0578 or email for more information.