DRIVE Partnership

Drive is an intensive intervention that aims to make victims and survivors and children safer by working with high-harm and serial perpetrators to challenge behaviour and prevent abuse.

A partnership between Respect, Safe Lives and Social Finance.

Drive has pioneered an innovative approach to ending domestic abuse, challenging the dominant narrative by asking ‘why doesn’t he stop?’ instead of ‘why doesn’t she leave?’

Does it work?

The impact of the Drive pilots around the country has been assessed through an independent evaluation conducted by the University of Bristol.

Findings reported from three-years of Drive have shown very positive results.

Key findings include:

  • Reduction in abuse. The number of Drive service users perpetrating abuse types reduced as follows:
    • physical abuse reduced by 82%;
    • sexual abuse reduced by 88%,
    • harassment and stalking behaviours reduced by 75%;
    • and jealous and controlling behaviours reduced by 73%.
  • Reduction of risk: Independent Domestic Violence Advisers (IDVAs), who are trained to work with victims/survivors and assess the level of domestic abuse risk they face, recorded a significant or moderate reduction in risk to victims in 82% of cases.
  • Sustained reduction in perpetrators assessed by multi-agencies as posing a risk of murder or serious harm. Perpetrators who are assessed as posing a risk of murder or serious harm are discussed at specialist meetings called MARACs (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences). MARAC data shows that Drive helped to reduce high risk perpetration including in serial and repeat perpetrators, especially post-intervention, and this was sustained for a year after the case was closed. Drive service users appeared at MARAC less often (mean = 2.7 times) than perpetrators in the control group (mean = 3.3 times). This difference was statistically significant.
  • Impact on police recorded domestic abuse
  1. Police data for Year 2 of the pilot showed perpetration of DVA (domestic violence and abuse) offending had reduced by 30% for Drive service users recorded in the 6 months after the intervention compared to 6 months before. In contrast a matched sample of control group perpetrators showed no change when comparing these periods.
  2. Further analysis in Year 3 showed the number of DVA police incidents recorded 6 months before, during and up to at least one year after the intervention. There was a 13% greater reduction in the number of perpetrators with DVA related police incidents in the Drive group than the control group. The proportion of Drive service users with recorded police DVA incidents continued to fall more than a year after the intervention, whereas in the control group it began to rise a year after the intervention.
  • Impact on wider offending behaviour. High harm perpetrators of domestic abuse were shown to be prolific offenders more generally and Drive was found to have a positive impact on both their domestic abuse and their other offending behaviour. Perpetrators had an average of 30 police incidents recorded over the period of the last four years – around two thirds of which were not domestic violence incidents.
    1. Available police data indicates that more than a year after the intervention there was a 62% drop in the number of Drive service users with contact with the police for non-DVA offences compared to a 32% drop for the control group.

Who funds Drive?

The pilot programmes are funded by Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, Comic Relief, Tudor Trust and the Police and Crime Commissioners in all three areas.

The project has also benefited from Home Office funding and local authority support.

The replication sites which launched in 2018, are funded by the Police Transformation Fund, local authorities and PCC support.


Call to Action for a perpetrator strategy

On 21st January 2020, together with over 70 organisations and experts, the Drive Partnership is calling on the Government to publish a strategy to crack down on the behaviour of domestic abuse perpetrators in England and Wales, as new research shows the potential of perpetrator programmes to cut violent crime and keep victims and families safe.

Currently only a tiny percentage of known perpetrators – less than 1% – receive a specialist intervention to challenge and change their behaviour.[i] Opportunities are being missed to stop a perpetrator abusing their current victim and prevent them from moving on to their next. This failure to prevent abuse costs the lives of two women a week and around £66bn a year in social and economic costs.[ii] It must change.

The campaign – which is co-signed by Respect along with household names from Barnado’s to Shelter, Social Finance to SafeLives and Women’s Aid, Police and Crime Commissioners and a swathe of academics, calls on the Government to publish and invest in a strategy that holds perpetrators to account and protects victims. It has been formally endorsed by the Royal College of General Practitioners.

A survivor, who will help launch of the Call to Action tonight, says of her former partner:

“He was only in prison for 9 weeks. He came out with the same assumptions about women, the same anger, as he went in with. With a dented ego. That’s putting a very dangerous man into the community. If he’d been approached in prison it might have helped. Or during probation. Because he’s never had any intervention, he doesn’t think he’s done anything wrong.”

The signatories are calling for sustainable funding, regulation to ensure all perpetrator programmes are quality-assured and effective, and well-funded and trained public and voluntary services who are able to work together to hold perpetrators to account, backed by strong leadership – both at the national and local level.

Partner organisations

Respect: The main UK membership organisation working with domestic violence perpetrators, male victims and young people. It has developed standards and accreditation and provides training and support to improve responses to adults using violence and abuse in intimate relationships. Respect accreditation is the benchmark for the provision of quality interventions with men who use violence against their female partners.

SafeLives: the UK-wide charity dedicated to ending domestic abuse, for everyone and for good. We work with organisations across the UK to transform the response to domestic abuse. We want what you would want for your best friend. We listen to survivors, putting their voices at the heart of our thinking. We look at the whole picture for each individual and family to get the right help at the right time to make families everywhere safe and well. And we challenge perpetrators to change, asking ‘why doesn’t he stop?’ rather than ‘why doesn’t she leave?’ This applies whatever the gender of the victim or perpetrator and whatever the nature of their relationship.  Last year alone, nearly 11,000 professionals working on the frontline received our training. Over 65,000 adults at risk of serious harm or murder and more than 85,000 children received support through dedicated multi-agency support designed by us and delivered with partners. In the last three years, over 1,000 perpetrators have been challenged and supported to change by interventions we created with partners, and that’s just the start. Together we can end domestic abuse. Forever. For everyone.

Social Finance: A not-for-profit organisation that partners with the government, social sector and the financial community to find better ways of tackling social problems in the UK and beyond. It has mobilised £180 million of funding and designed a series of programmes, including the Social Impact Bond model, to tackle social challenges including rehabilitating short sentenced offenders, supporting vulnerable adolescents to avoid being taken into care and helping vulnerable youth access employment. Drive is an initiative of Social Finance’s Impact Incubator. The Impact Incubator is a collaboration between charitable foundations and Social Finance to develop new models in areas of acute social need with the potential for sustainable change at a national level.


[i] Respect (2013), DVPP Commissioning Guidance for Police and Crime Commissioners. Accessible at: http://www.senedd.assembly.wales/documents/s30732/GBV%2090b%20-%20Respect.pdf

[ii] The cost of abuse for victims identified in a single year – according to the Home Office – is £66bn. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/772180/horr107.pdf