"The Other Side of the Story: Perpetrators in Change (OSSPC) project is being implemented by The Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family, Cyprus, Bournemouth University, United Kingdom, Centro di Ascolto Uomini Maltrattanti Onlus, Italy, The Union of Women Associations of Heraklion Prefecture, Greece, European Knowledge Spot, Greece and Direcția de Asistență Socială și Medicală, Romania.
The project is co-funded by the European Union in the framework of The Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014-2020).
One of the work packages of the project, Time for Change: Evidence based research for new practice approaches (WP 2), aims to map and comparatively analyse the current work with perpetrators in the participating countries; estimate the scale of the problem; provide a needs assessment and discover potential referral routes, suggesting relevant perpetrator programme for professionals in the form of non-criminal justice intervention. Within this work package, 5 country reports and a transnational report (comparative analysis) were elaborated.
The research involved 173 participants from Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Romania and the UK: focus groups with professionals working with DVA (20 groups), an online survey for survivors of DVA (95) and interviews with perpetrators who had accessed support (18).
The key thematic areas which impact access and provision of perpetrator work were pointed out. They are related to the need for a coordinated community response, including cohesive localized referral pathways, adequate funding, training of frontline workers and publicity to help victims and perpetrators recognize abuse - in a way which reduces stigma yet holds perpetrators to account. Ultimately, this research found an enormous amount of good practice across the partner countries and evidence that effective service provision for perpetrators can inspire behavior change, harm reduction, and positive futures.
Based on the national research and comparative analysis, each partner has formulated a set of policy recommendations on domestic violence perpetrator intervention programmes, taking into consideration the specificities of their country and sent it to the national authorities/institutions in charge of these matters.