Frequently Asked Questions

What is Drive?
What are the aims of Drive?
Who does Drive work with?
Why was Drive developed?
What partners do you work with on the ground?
How does the Drive Project work?
How has the intervention been evaluated?
How is the Drive Partnership working to change national responses?

What is Drive?

Drive is made up of the Drive Project alongside the wider Drive Partnership National Systems Change work. The Drive Project works with high-harm, high-risk and serial perpetrators of domestic abuse to prevent their abusive behaviour and protect victims. ​

​High-risk, high-harm perpetrators are those who have been assessed as posing a risk of serious harm or murder to people they are in intimate or family relationships with.​

​The Drive Project challenges and supports perpetrators to change and works with partner agencies – like the police and social services – to disrupt abuse. ​

​The Drive Partnership National Systems Change work advocates for changes to national systems so that perpetrators posing all levels of risk can no longer get away with abusive behaviour and can access the help they need to stop whoever they are and wherever they live.

What are the aims of Drive?

  • To reduce the number of repeat and new victims of domestic abuse (Drive Project)
  • To reduce the harm caused to adult and child victims of domestic abuse (Drive Project)
  • The reduce the number of serial perpetrators of domestic abuse (Drive Project)
  • To intervene earlier to protect families living with domestic abuse (Drive Project)
  • To help build systems that enable these things to happen beyond Drive sites, across England and Wales (Drive Partnership National Systems Change)

Who does Drive work with?

The Drive Project works with high-risk, high-harm perpetrators – those who pose the greatest risk of serious harm or murder to people they are in intimate or family relationships with.​

​The perpetrators are typically identified by police risk assessment systems or because the associated victims’ cases are being heard at Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs).​

​Drive Project clients are overwhelmingly, but not exclusively, men and in heterosexual relationships. ​

26% of perpetrators on our programmes are from Black, Asian or other minority ethnic groups. In some areas, the BAME caseload broadly reflects the population in the area (eg. Croydon) and in some areas it falls below and we are working to address this. We are also working to address broader systemic gaps in provision for LGBTQ+ and BAME perpetrators.​

​The cohort of people the Drive Project works with is difficult to engage and has multiple needs, for example, relating to substance misuse, housing issues, previous offending history, and mental health needs. ​

​Around 1 in 10 of the perpetrators are still living with the victim/survivor and the vast majority have links with children.​

Why was Drive developed?

  • Drive was developed in 2015 by Respect, SafeLives, Social Finance – the Drive Partnership. The Partnership shared an ambition to address a serious gap in responses to high-harm, high-risk perpetrators of domestic violence and abuse. 
  • The Partnership’s expertise in domestic abuse, perpetrator interventions, and a research-led approach to solving social problems, resulted in the creation of the Drive Project which focuses on changing the way statutory and voluntary agencies respond to this high-harm, risk-risk group.
  • The Drive Partnership recognises that the Drive Project is one response to one specific cohort of high-harm high risk perpetrators and a range of different responses are needed nationally in England and Wales for different groups.  This recognition underpinned the development of the Drive Partnership National Systems Change programme of work, which seeks to promote sustainable national systems in England and Wales that respond effectively to all perpetrators of domestic abuse
  • The national systems change work is helping to catalyse a broad and loose coalition of charities, commissioners, independent funders and public professionals who are all working to secure a national response in England and Wales to perpetrators of domestic abuse.

What partners do you work with on the ground?

The Drive Project is a national project in England and Wales. It is delivered in every site by local specialist domestic abuse organisations who tailor it for the locality, with support from a Central Delivery Team and local commissioning partners. This work is done in partnership with statutory agencies such as the police, public health, and children’s social care. ​

​The Drive Network of Partners have brought together disparate funding pools (philanthropy, local and central government) as well as divergent points of view behind a sector-wide vision of success that is greater than any one organisation.

Current and past funders include: The National Lottery, Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, Comic Relief, Tudor Trust, Local Authorities and Police and Crime Commissioners. The project has benefited from government funding from the Police Innovation and Transformation Fund and the COVID-19 Emergency Fund.

How does the Drive Project work?

The intervention incorporates: 

  • Intensive one-to-one work and case management. The Drive case manager works with the perpetrator to challenge and support changes in attitudes, beliefs and behaviour. This often also requires addressing additional needs that stand in the way of the change process, such as mental health, substance misuse and housing needs.
  • A coordinated multi-agency response that disrupts opportunities for perpetrators to continue their abuse; and identifies and reduces risk. 
  • Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA)  support for the victim/survivor to ensure joined up working and safety. 

The Drive Project does not require the direct engagement of perpetrators. Where perpetrators refuse to engage, Drive is still able to reduce risk. The combination of one-to-one interventions alongside a police-led multi-agency response together with the three-pronged approach of disrupt, change, support is what makes Drive different from other interventions.

How has the intervention been evaluated?

The Drive Project has undergone a three-year independent evaluation conducted by the University of Bristol, who based their analysis on over 500 cases. The University of Bristol concluded that Drive reduces abuse and the risk that perpetrators pose. 

The number of Drive service users perpetrating abuse types reduced significantly:

  • 82% fewer perpetrators were using physical abuse
  • 88% fewer perpetrators were using sexual abuse
  • 75% fewer perpetrators were using harassment and stalking
  • 73% fewer perpetrators were using jealous and controlling behaviours

The Drive Project was also shown to have a sustained impact:

  • MARAC data shows that Drive helped to reduce high-risk perpetration, including serial and repeat perpetrators, especially post-intervention, and this was sustained for a year after the case was closed.
  • Police data showed perpetration of DVA (domestic violence and abuse) offending had reduced by 30% for Drive service users recorded in the 6 months after the intervention compared to 6 months before. 

The research also found that high-harm perpetrators of domestic abuse were prolific offenders more generally and the Drive Project was found to have a positive impact on both their domestic abuse and their other offending behaviour. 

How is the Drive Partnership working to change national responses to perpetrators of domestic and increase safety for victims-survivors and families?

  • The Drive Partnership is building an England and Wales-wide coalition across the domestic abuse sector and other sectors that respond to domestic abuse such as social care, health, policing, and more. This is part of its National Systems Change work.
  • This loose ‘Action on Perpetrators’ coalition believes there is an urgent need for the full spectrum of perpetrator interventions to be available in all geographic areas. Current provision is patchy, dependent on area, and reliant on small, unstable pots of funding. A strategic and targeted way of addressing perpetrators of abuse is needed.
  • The Drive Partnership and its coalition partners are calling on the government to publish a perpetrator strategy. Read the Call to Action.

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