Today, the Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens and South Gloucestershire Council announced that they will be rolling out the Drive Project in South Gloucestershire.
This welcome news means that Drive is continuing to expand across England and Wales ensuring more areas have bespoke systems in place to manage the risk that high-harm, high-risk perpetrators of domestic abuse pose and to keep child and adult victims safer.
The Drive Project challenges and supports high-harm, high-risk perpetrators to change whilst working closely with partner agencies – like the police and social services – to manage risk and disrupt abuse.
PCC Sue Mountstevens said:
“I am delighted to be the lead commissioner for Drive and am looking forward to supporting the roll-out of the programme in South Gloucestershire. We need to stop putting the onus on the victim to make the first move – whether that is reporting or leaving the house or relationship – and instead put the responsibility back onto the offender.
“Drive does just that by challenging perpetrator behavior to stop the abuse. The roll-out of the programme is an opportunity to make long-term change for victims and their families and I look forward to seeing how agencies and partners can help shape the initiative.”
Cllr Erica Williams, Chair of the South Gloucestershire Partnership Against Domestic Abuse, said:
“We are pleased to be part of this partnership to deliver an innovative perpetrator focused programme to South Gloucestershire. Tackling the causes of domestic abuse, along with supporting victims, is a key priority for us as a partnership and a council. It is important we look at stopping the cycle of abuse, to prevent any more victims which includes any children who often witness and suffer as a result of this abuse.”
The Director of Drive, Kyla Kirkpatrick said,
“We warmly welcome Avon and Somerset PCC and South Gloucestershire Council as the newest area to deliver the Drive Project and as our latest partners. This work is vital in ensuring that we are doing everything we can to make victims and survivors of domestic abuse safer by responding effectively to those who are causing the harm – the perpetrators. We thank the PCC and the Council for their commitment and investment in this work and are looking forward to working closely with them over the next three years.”
This new site is one of three that is being supported for the next three years with funding from The National Lottery Community Fund. Work is underway for the launch of the other two sites, which will be announced in due course.
Read the statement from Avon and Somerset PCC here.