Frequently Asked Questions

What is Drive?
What are the goals of Drive?
Who does Drive work with?
Where/how are the pilot sites running?
What methods will Drive employ to change behaviour?
Will there be sanctions if perpetrators do not engage?
How will victims’ safety be protected?
How will the project be evaluated?
How will Drive be scaled up?
Who are the partners in the project?

What is Drive?

Each year more than 100,000 people in the UK are at high and imminent risk of being murdered or seriously injured as a result of domestic abuse. Services rightly focus on meeting the needs of victims but too often perpetrators are not held to account, and their abusive behaviour continues. Only 1% of perpetrators receive a specialist intervention that can help prevent future abusive behaviour and as a result there is a high level of repeat offending. We want long-term solutions to tackle domestic abuse: to reduce the number of victims – we must challenge perpetrators to stop.

Drive challenges perpetrators of domestic abuse. It has developed a new model that is currently being tested and evaluated, and which aims to fundamentally change perpetrator behaviour to make victims and families safe. To reduce the number of victims, we must reduce the number of perpetrators.

We strive to change the public narrative from ‘why doesn’t she leave’ to ‘why doesn’t he stop?’

What are the goals of Drive?

  • To reduce the number of repeat and new victims
  • To reduce the harm caused to victims and children
  • To reduce the number of serial perpetrators of domestic abuse
  • To intervene earlier to protect families living with the most harmful domestic abuse
  • To develop an evidence-based approach that has the potential to become a model for wider use
  • To provide an interventions for perpetrators who are not eligible for a Domestic Violence Perpetrator Programme (DVPP)

Who does Drive work with?

Drive focuses on high-harm/serial perpetrators of domestic abuse. 

Where/how is the pilot running?

The three year pilot is running in West Sussex, South Wales and Essex from April 2016. Each site will aim to work with around 100 perpetrators per year for three years. It will build on existing services and interventions to maximise impact, providing a coordinated multi-agency response to challenge the perpetrator’s behaviour, while ensuring there is support for the victim.

Drive has also received additional funding to scale and expand the project. These new sites include: Croydon in London, Cardiff in South Wales, Worcester in West Mercia, and Birmingham and Sandwell in the West Midlands. As of November 2018, these new project sites have all commenced service delivery.

Drive builds on existing services and interventions in the local areas to maximise impact, providing a coordinated multi-agency response to challenge the perpetrator’s behaviour, while ensuring there is support for the victim.

What methods will Drive employ to change behaviour?

Case managers work with perpetrators on an intensive one-to-one basis. They employ a dual support and challenge strategy; this means supporting people to address issues that are barriers to doing behaviour change work while ensuring they experience the full consequences if they continue to be violent and abusive. 

Support could entail addressing mental health issues, housing and employment support, substance misuse support, and behavioural change programmes; while also working with the criminal justice system and local agencies to challenge their behaviour if it remains abusive.

Are there sanctions if perpetrators do not engage?

Drive challenges perpetrators to change; ensuring they are held to account, with the full force of the law, if they continue their abusive behaviour.

Our main priority is that victims remain safe. If a perpetrator breaks the law, they will be held to account. The caseworker will work closely with the police, probation or youth offending services as appropriate, to address and reduce their abusive behaviour and to keep victims safe. This could include arrest for non-domestic abuse crime (such as drink driving or possession of illegal drugs).

How is victims’ safety protected?

Victim and child safety is paramount and is the key priority of Drive. Victims are offered support from an Idva (domestic violence professional), or other caseworker if appropriate, for the full period of the Drive intervention for their partner or ex-partner. In practice however, no project can fully assure the safety of a victim given the nature of their partner or ex-partners’ abusive behaviour.

How is the project being evaluated?

There is an independent academic evaluation. This will assess the efficacy and sustainability of the intervention, including a cost benefit analysis. The evaluation will cover:

  • Longitudinal assessment of outcomes such as reduced repeat abuse, level of violence and abuse and improved outcomes for victims and children.
  • Outcomes will be measured for a significant period of time post-interventions to establish whether changes are sustainable.
  • Evaluation of the model and key features; an understanding of the contextual factors that promote or inhibit implementation and effectiveness.

Who is funding Drive?

  • Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales and the Tudor Trust are supporting costs of developing the model and evaluation.
  • Sussex, Essex and South Wales’s Police Crime Commissioners are committed to fund the local delivery costs.
  • Drive also benefited from local authority support.
  • The Home Office’s Police Transformation Fund and local Police and Crime Commissioners and council funding are covering the costs for the new sites in West Mercia, Wales, West Midlands, and Croydon.

How will Drive be scaled up?

The evaluation will assess the costs and financial benefits of the intervention, and establish if there is a human and economic case for national roll-out. If the intervention is proven to be effective – we hope it will be taken up by more areas and become a national response. We will use the learning from the evaluation to inform commissioning and delivery of services for perpetrators nationally; with a view to integrating the intervention into a whole family response and widening it to address risk at any level. We will develop the replication model once evidence starts to emerge about the level of effectiveness and the conditions that are necessary for this.

Who are the partners in the project?

  • 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: a national charity dedicated to ending domestic abuse. It combines support for local services with hard data to find out what works. Then it does everything it can to make sure families everywhere benefit. Over the past 10 years, SafeLives has developed and implemented a new approach to supporting the highest risk victims of domestic abuse, combining the specialist support of an Idva with the resources of local multi agency partners. This approach now supports over 60,000 victims annually. SafeLives new strategy addresses the needs of the whole family – including perpetrators.
  • Social Finance: 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 £100 million of investment 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 social business models in areas of acute social need.

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