Changing the behaviour of domestic abuse perpetrators is at the core of a new approach to help combat domestic abuse and violence in Hampshire.
As part of a wider Domestic Abuse Strategy, Hampshire County Council, Southampton City Council, Hampshire Constabulary and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner have worked together to develop a Hampshire wide initiative that aims to better identify and assess perpetrators and implement an improved programme of interventions.
Hampshire County Councillor Andrew Joy, Executive Member for Communities, Partnerships and External Affairs, commented: “I am really pleased that, by working closely with our partners, we have developed this new approach to tackling domestic abuse. We have listened to stakeholders and victims of abuse who, quite rightly, pointed out that, in addition to the support for victims, there is a real need to get to the heart of the problem and find ways to help perpetrators change their behaviour.”
Led by the Hampton Trust, a consortium of local organisations will be appointed to implement the new scheme. The consortium will include Baseline Training Ltd and Aurora New Dawn who will bring an innovative focus to delivering support and helping all agencies achieve a meaningful change in addressing this complex and challenging issue.
Chairman of the Supporting Troubled Families Strategic Board, Councillor Keith Mans, commented: “While we are very good at supporting victims of domestic violence and abuse, when they come forward, we need to stop the cycle by turning around those responsible for the abuse and violence. Court orders and time in prison alone do not help to reduce future risk. What we want to do is to put in place a scheme that will help perpetrators of abuse understand and appreciate the full impact of the damage they cause. We want to work with them to help them identify their triggers and find ways to deal with their frustration and anger without resorting to abuse or violence.”
Simon Hayes, Police and Crime Commissioner, added: “”I am proud to support this innovative new way of working with domestic abuse perpetrators through funding. There is strong emerging evidence that this form of intervention can break the cycle of abuse and protect those who are most at risk. Doing nothing to tackle perpetrator abuse is not an option for me. It is essential that we do everything in our power to ensure victims of domestic abuse receive appropriate support and to prevent domestic abuse happening in the first place through intervention.”
Sandra Jerrim, Senior Commissioning Manager in the integrated commissioning unit, working on behalf of the Southampton Clinical Commissioning Group and Southampton City Council, said: “We are extremely pleased to be working alongside our partners in Hampshire to deal with domestic abuse at the root cause and in a unified way. We want to support families to turn their lives around for the better and help them to stay together in a home environment that is free from abuse or violence.”
The Hampton Trust has worked with domestic abuse perpetrators both in and outside the criminal justice system for the past 19 years. As part of the new service the Trust will:
create and manage a single point of contact to receive and record information on perpetrators;
deliver a range of (modular based) specialist support (both for groups and individuals);
provide an advice line for front line services; and
deliver a range of training to front line practitioners.
The contract for the new service will run from November 2015 to March 2017. The intervention will be independently evaluated by Southampton University.