Domestic violence intervention programmes (or domestic violence perpetrator programmes, as they're also known) are behaviour-change programmes for men who use violence and abuse towards their (ex) partners. They run in small groups aiming to:
They meet once a week for about two and a half hours in the evening for anything between 20 to 48 weeks (depending on the programme). They are not anger management classes.
A domestic violence perpetrator programme is the most appropriate type of help for men who are abusive and violent toward their partners.
Some groups are discussion based, but most use a variety of interactive exercises to make the learning realistic, stimulating and relevant to men's own situations. There are many different programmes across the UK, and the content will vary, but on the whole they will cover these issues:
Every domestic violence perpetrator programme should have an attached service for partners offering information and support. In fact, a domestic violence perpetrator programme without such a service for the woman who has suffered the abuse is likely to increase the risks towards her rather than promote her safety.
Most domestic violence perpetrator programmes have been designed for men in heterosexual relationships. Some of these programmes also work with women (in heterosexual or same-sex relationships) and with gay/bi men . For more information call the Respect Phoneline on 0808 802 4040.
In Norfolk the Building Better Relationships (BBR) programme has replaced the delivery of IDAP (Integrated Domestic Abuse Programme), which is provided by the Probation Service. This has primarily been available for only statutory cases as dealt with via the court process, however there are limited places available for unconvicted perpetrators referred through CAFCAS.
Participants must be able to recall and discuss at least some of their previous relationship aggression.
This does not necessarily need to include their intimate partner violent convictions, if the participant is willing to discuss unconvicted behaviour.
Men in extreme denial of their behaviour remain unsuitable for BBR
This is a strengths based approach programme which aims to lower resistance to change by:
Throughout the programme there is also proactive engagement with the partner via an allocated Women’s Safety Officer.