Leicestershire has successfully bid for more than £240k 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.”
Cllr Simon Whelband, Harborough District Council’s Cabinet lead on Wellbeing, Communities & Housing, said: “I welcome this additional funding, which will have a real impact in tacking domestic abuse here in the Harborough district.”
Councillor Michael Mullaney, HBBC Councillor and joint chair of Blaby and Hinckley and Bosworth Community Safety Partnership, said "There have been a number of negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. One of these has sadly been an increasing number of domestic abuse cases. With a new lockdown and many people being forced to stay at home it's vital we do all we can to help ensure people are safe in their homes. I'm glad to see that Hinckley and Bosworth and the rest of Leicestershire has been successful in bidding for funding to help tackle the problem of domestic abuse and that Hinckley and Bosworth and other authorities are also contributing funding towards it . At present Leicester City runs a scheme to help perpetrators of domestic abuse to alter their behaviour. I'm glad this extra funding will ensure that this scheme can now be rolled out here in Hinckley and Bosworth and the rest of Leicestershire.
"Experience of this scheme shows that it leads to a long-term reduction in abuse in 3/4s of the cases covered by it. This means fewer people in our Borough having to face the nightmare of domestic abuse."
Councillor Andrew Woodman, Portfolio Holder for Community Services at NWLDC, said: “We are pleased to have worked in partnership with the Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicestershire to secure funding towards a new perpetrator programme to help tackle domestic abuse.
“It’s important that we support this programme so that we can help perpetrators of domestic abuse understand any underlying drivers of their behaviour so that they can change and behave differently in the future.
“We are keen to reduce the number of domestic abuse victims across North West Leicestershire and will continue to support the programme to ensure those vulnerable and struggling with domestic abuse are supported and protected.”
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."
Cllr Deborah Taylor, chair of the Charnwood Community Safety Partnership, said: “I welcome this funding to help tackle a crime that is so horrifying and traumatic for its victims. By helping perpetrators change their behaviour we will be protecting people from becoming victims of domestic violence in the future.
“I am pleased Charnwood Community Safety Partnership is committing funding for the programme and I look forward to seeing it deliver positive outcomes in Charnwood, and across the county, and improving people’s lives.”
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.
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Wednesday 18th November 2020