New Rutland programme to tackle domestic abuse

  Posted: 18.11.20 at 09:35 by The Editor

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New perpetrator programmes to be rolled out across Rutland and Leicestershire to tackle domestic abuse

The counties have successfully bid for more than £240,000 from the Home Office to expand specialist provision for perpetrators of domestic abuse to help change their violent behaviour.

A partnership of agencies led by Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach applied for funding to roll out domestic abuse perpetrator provision across the county in 2020-21.

Currently, Leicester City Council funds a full perpetrator behaviour change service through the Jenkins Centre, which is part of domestic abuse charity Freeva.

Thanks to Home Office funding worth £246,792, further programmes will now launch across the remaining eight Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) areas in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

The grant will be match-funded by partners at just over £180k in 2021-22 and will ensure the delivery of a holistic approach towards domestic abuse.

This approach will include early intervention ‘out of court' disposals in appropriate cases to trigger realisation within the perpetrator that their behaviour is not acceptable and that they have a problem that needs attention.

There will also be a perpetrator behaviour-change programme to enable perpetrators to understand the underlying drivers of their behaviour and help them to behave differently in the future alongside a new drive to target and put pressure on high-risk prolific perpetrators.

These strands will complement the work of other agencies provided through the Integrated Offender Management (IOM) approach and CARA (Conditional Cautions Against Relationship Abuse).

In addition to funding existing provision in the City, the grant will expand services to cover Rutland, Blaby, Charnwood, Harborough, Hinckley and Bosworth, Melton, North West Leicestershire, Oadby and Wigston.

Willy Bach said: "This funding is great news for Leicestershire and will help us to increase the opportunities for perpetrators of abuse to change their behaviour in the long-term and thus increase the safety of their partners and families.

"We know that the pandemic has heightened the risk of domestic abuse for those already living with a violent partner and as we move through a second national lockdown it is more important than ever that we deliver meaningful help, support and redress to protect the vulnerable during these anxious times and protect their mental and physical wellbeing.

"Leicester already operates a very successful perpetrator programme and we are proud of the strong partnerships in place to help support victims and aid their recovery. Through this funding, and the additional financial commitment from partners, we will be delivering a whole-system approach where perpetrators will also receive the specialist help they need to change."

Suki Kaur, Chief Executive of Freeva, said "We are so pleased with this outcome and the difference this will make towards breaking the cycle of abuse. Expanding our services across the region enables us to reach out to more families who are having to live with the devastating impacts of domestic abuse. The specialist interventions we provide can facilitate positive changes to keep people safe from harm and ensure healthier relationships."

Domestic abuse is believed to cost the UK in the region of £3.9bn per year.

It is hoped the new programme will help more than 150 perpetrators of domestic abuse while supporting more than 150 partners or ex-partners across the LLR area.

Based on existing outcome levels of 75%, it is anticipated 118 of these cases will see a sustained reduction in abuse.

The service to be delivered by Freeva will aim to identify, engage and motivate change amongst men and women using abusive behaviour in intimate partner relationships in order to reduce that behaviour and improve the safety, health and wellbeing of partners, ex-partners, children and themselves.

It will include a 24-week group programme for men only to change their violent and abusive behaviour, a 12-week Individual Interventions Programme for female perpetrators, Non-English speakers, perpetrators in same-sex relationships and for perpetrators unsuitable for the group programme, a 10-week Dads Parenting Programme focusing on restorative parenting, a monthly maintenance group and 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 will also be delivered to multiple agency professionals.

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