Drive welcomes the Government’s commitment to funding perpetrator interventions

The Drive Partnership welcomes the opening of a new fund from government for work with perpetrators of domestic abuse to risk-manage, and where possible, change their behaviour; and is encouraging Police and Crime Commissioners to work with relevant organisations to apply to it.  

The £6.1m announcement represents the first England and Wales-wide offer of investment in this crucial area of work, which helps keep victims safe and is fundamental to turning the tide on domestic abuse which affects 2 million people in England and Wales every year.  

Alongside our partners in the sector, and as signatories to the Call to Action for a Perpetrator Strategy, the Drive Partnership has called for funding from government to take this work forward as part of a comprehensive approach to protect victims and survivors. The announcement includes £1.1m to extend Drive’s work with perpetrators who pose the highest risk of harm, keeping more victims safe. Crucially, the fund also recognises that interventions like Drive are just one part of the response, with the rest of the money open to a wide range of proposals from organisations working with perpetrators to help keep victims safer.  

Kyla Kirkpatrick, Director of Drive said:  

“While this fund was initially announced by the Chancellor in his budget before the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the UK, the lockdown has served as an urgent reminder of how essential this work is to keep families safe. We encourage PCCs to apply for this money – either to deliver Drive or to fund other perpetrator interventions or build the evidence base they need in their area. We know that behaviour change programmes can help keep victims safe and reduce re-offending, so this is an important opportunity.”   

Drive is a partnership of three organisations, Respect, SafeLives, and Social Finance. Drive partners commented as follows:  

 “We welcome this announcement and hope that this is a first step to longer term more sustainable funding for quality-assured interventions that ensure perpetrators are not simply left to offend time and time again but are managed, and where possible, supported to change.” – Neil Blacklock, Development Director at Respect 

“The impact of domestic abuse costs billions each year. As we look to the inevitable economic impacts of COVID-19, this government decision to invest in preventing identified perpetrators from causing further harm is more needed than ever and provides a welcome further opportunity to learn what works.” – Laura Dale-Harris, Associate Director at Social Finance 

 “This fund is a really significant development. Until we develop a more national, strategic response to people who use abuse in their relationships, abusers will continue to harm people around them, impacting so many lives. This pot of funding represents an important step, and it must be taken forward as part of a comprehensive approach to people who try to control those they’re supposed to love. We’re very much hoping to see the government publish a perpetrator strategy and of course, funding for perpetrator work must always go alongside funding for the direct support for victims.” – Suzanne Jacob, CEO of SafeLives 

There are two pots of money that the Home Office has allocated. Both need to be spent before March 2021. The short time frame is likely to limit applications and Drive hopes to see longer term funding opportunities in the future.  

For those wishing to apply to deliver the Drive intervention in their local areas, more information can be found here. If you’d like to get in contact specifically about the Drive grants, please email Matthew Fudge at Matthew.Fudge@safelives.org.uk.  

The second pot of money, according to the Home Office, is aimed at increasing “the number of perpetrator-focused programmes in local areas and strengthen the evaluation of these interventions. PCCs will be able to bid to roll out or expand programmes that tackle the problem of domestic abuse directly with perpetrators.” Read more about this grant here.   

The applications to these grants are open for a four-week period and close 15 September 2020 at 4pm. These applications must be made via local Police and Crime Commissioners in accordance with the fund guidance.