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The Drive Partnership welcomes publication of the Domestic Abuse Plan

The Drive Partnership welcomes the Domestic Abuse Plan published by the Home Office today. We are pleased to see a strong commitment to addressing perpetrators of abuse through the ‘Pursuing Perpetrators’ strand. This document fulfils the government’s legal requirement to publish a Perpetrator Strategy as part of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021.

Sustainable, multi-year funding is crucial for specialist services to deliver effective safety planning and risk management, and as such we are pleased to see a £75m investment in perpetrator interventions. There is also welcome recognition in the Plan of the Drive Partnership’s intervention as effective, evidence-based, and cost-efficient compared to the outstanding social and economic costs of domestic abuse to the public purse. We look forward to further details of how the funding will be allocated and will be advocating to ensure that the full range of quality perpetrator interventions is available, addressing all levels of risk and harm and delivering improvements to survivor safety and justice for all victim-survivors.

The responsibility for addressing domestic abuse perpetrators cannot sit with any one governmental department or statutory agency. We are glad to see a focus on multi-agency information sharing in the Domestic Abuse Plan and urge the government to take these proposals further. We must ensure that information is shared consistently and rigorously across geographies, agencies and between criminal justice and non-criminal justice systems.

Responses to perpetrators are only safe and effective when they take place in conjunction with robust support for victim-survivors. The Drive Partnership welcomes commitments to increase Independent Domestic Violence Advisors/ Independent Sexual Violence Advisors provision and better co-ordination of statutory services to ensure victims are identified sooner. Investment in specialist by and for services is crucial and it is positive to see that the plan allocates funding for this. In order for this to be a sustainable investment there also needs to be infrastructure and capacity building embedded to support these specialist services.

The Domestic Abuse Plan provides an important starting point to make substantial and long-term progress towards ending domestic abuse for everyone. We look forward to working with the government on the measures laid out today and on areas that require further focus and investment. We would like to see the government engage in the challenges of workforce development and capacity-building frameworks that are needed to meet the growing demand for  perpetrator responses across the system..

“We are pleased to see the intentions laid out by the government today on their plans to stop perpetrators of domestic abuse. This is a mark of real progress.  Domestic abuse is a widespread, entrenched social issue that requires a robust and multi-faceted response. We particularly welcome the commitments to multi-year funding, the review of information-sharing practices, and improvements in policing response and charging. We also urge public services to look beyond the criminal justice system to ensure effective responses to all perpetrators of domestic abuse for the safety of all victims .”

Kyla Kirkpatrick, Director, The Drive Partnership.

In September 2021 over 40 stakeholder organisations signed a paper detailing recommendations for the perpetrator strand of the Plan. The Drive Partnership welcomes recommendations that have been adopted in the Domestic Abuse Plan and remains committed to pushing for changes in policy and practice that will strengthen individual and institutional responses to domestic abuse. The Drive Partnership will continue to call for robust responses to perpetrators that maintain a victim-centred approach and improve outcomes for all victim-survivors.