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£15million announced in the Budget to reduce domestic abuse through interventions with perpetrators

Today, the Drive Partnership welcomes the inclusion of a £15million package to respond to perpetrators of domestic abuse in the Chancellor’s Spring Budget. This means that more victims and survivors will be made safer, sooner as perpetrators across England and Wales receive interventions that can prevent abuse from continuing or reoccurring.

The announcement comes as the Government voiced its intention during the Domestic Abuse Bill debates to include a strategic approach to perpetrators in its new domestic abuse strategy due later this year. It also comes after over 125+ organisations and experts came together to call for a perpetrator strategy.

Drive understands that the funds will be used to expand existing interventions for perpetrators, including reaching areas that have little or no provision; as well as for specific interventions to respond to stalking, and to improve responses to young people who use abuse. This announcement comes on top of the £125 million announced at the Spending Review for local authorities to deliver the Domestic Abuse Bill’s forthcoming new statutory duty to support victims.

Director of Drive, Kyla Kirkpatrick, said:

“This is a really important step by the Government, and we look forward to working with them on the detail. There are proven interventions to keep victims safer from domestic abuse but all too often they are not available, and victims are left at risk. We want to see quality interventions and responses for all perpetrators, including young people who use abuse in their relationships, across England and Wales. This funding should help get us closer to that vision. Domestic abuse is not inevitable. With the right strategy and funding, we can turn the tide on domestic abuse and support victims and survivors to be free to live their lives.”

Vicky, a survivor, said:

“For a long time, the focus has been on victims of abuse. What can we do to stop the abuse? What can we do to keep ourselves safe? This funding turns the spotlight where it should be, back onto the perpetrator. This funding allows for effective work to be completed with perpetrators of abuse where previously they would have been able to threaten the safety of their victims with impunity.”  

Drive works with perpetrators of domestic abuse who have been assessed as posing a risk of serious physical harm or murder. The University of Bristol evaluation of Drive showed that it reduced levels of physical abuse by 82%, sexual abuse by 88%, jealous and controlling behavior by 73% and stalking and harassment by 75%. Alongside this, Drive incorporates support for victims – a crucial element of any quality perpetrator intervention.

The Drive Partnership is made up of three organisations – Respect, SafeLives and Social Finance. The partnership’s respective expertise in domestic abuse, perpetrator interventions, and a research-led approach to solving social problems, resulted in the creation of Drive. Each organisation continues to bring expertise in developing a sustainable and scalable model.

Notes for editors 

About Drive

Drive believes domestic abuse is not acceptable or inevitable. Drive works with high-harm, high-risk and serial perpetrators of domestic abuse to prevent their abusive behaviour and protect victims. Drive challenges these perpetrators to change and works with partner agencies – like the police and social services – to disrupt any ongoing abuse.

Drive 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.

Drive was developed in 2015 by Respect, SafeLives, Social Finance – the Drive Partnership – to address a gap in work with high-harm perpetrators of domestic abuse. Drive is a national project, with service providers delivering the intervention in local areas. In every site, we partner with local specialist domestic abuse organisations to design and deliver a programme tailored for the locality. This work is done in partnership with statutory agencies such as the police, public health, and children’s social care.

Reduction in abuse. The University of Bristol found the number of Drive service users perpetrating abuse types reduced as follows:

• physical abuse reduced by 82%;

• sexual abuse reduced by 88%,

• harassment and stalking behaviours reduced by 75%;

• and jealous and controlling behaviours reduced by 73%.

Reduction of risk: Independent Domestic Violence Advisers (IDVAs), who are trained to work with victims-survivors and assess the level of domestic abuse risk they face, recorded reduction in risk to victims in 82% of cases.

Drive is a partnership between Respect, SafeLives and Social Finance:

Respect UK – Respect is the UK membership organisation for work with domestic violence perpetrators, male victims and young people. Respect have developed standards and accreditation and provide 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 – SafeLives is the UK-wide charity dedicated to ending domestic abuse, for everyone and for good. SafeLives work with organisations across the UK to transform the response to domestic abuse.

Social Finance – Social Finance is a not-for-profit organisation that partners with the government, the social sector and the financial community to find better ways of tackling social problems in the UK and beyond. They have raised over £100 million of social investment and designed a series of programmes to tackle social challenges including supporting vulnerable adolescents to avoid being taken into care, supporting older people reduce their level of loneliness and helping people with health conditions and disabilities access employment.

Funding and Commissioning partners 

Drive is funded by a mix of grant making trusts, central government grants and local government commissioning from policing, public health and local authorities. Local commissioners play a particularly important leadership role in Drive Project sites. The National Lottery Community Fund is a key funder, supporting the delivery of the Drive Project in certain sites and funding the Drive Partnership National Systems Change work until March 2023. The UK government is another key funder and is supporting some sites to adopt the Drive Project.

Find out more information at: http://driveproject.org.uk/ and follow us on Twitter: @DriveProjectUK