An event is to be held in support of a European-wide research project exploring behaviour change in perpetrators of domestic violence.
“The Other Side of the Story: Perpetrators in Change” (OSSPC) research, launched in 2020, assesses minimum standards for behavioural change programmes for perpetrators of domestic violence and abuse, and aims to build capacity, training materials and best practice to support practitioners in rehabilitating perpetrators of domestic violence.
Domestic violence is a major issue in the UK, with one in four women experiencing domestic abuse in their lifetime. The UK government report emphasises the importance of dealing with perpetrators in order to prevent abuse.
As a part of the Europe-wide project, the University of Bristol and Bournemouth University work alongside partners in Cyprus, Italy, Greece and Romania to create guidance for frontline professionals such as social workers, mental health experts and law enforcement to prepare them to work with perpetrators to see meaningful behavioural change, helping them to understand the dynamics behind domestic violence and the typical beliefs, values and tactics of domestic violence perpetrators.
It is hoped that the research project, which is coming to the end of its two and a half year funding by the European Commission, will help to prevent further domestic violence and change violent behavioural patterns and help to teach perpetrators of domestic violence to adopt non-violent behaviour in interpersonal relationships and understand the impact of domestic violence on them, their family and community.
To support this work, Bournemouth University will be hosting a training and networking event on Monday 6 June 2022. The interdisciplinary training day will look at domestic violence perpetrator prevention and bring together practitioners for discussion on best practice. The training session is among the largest to have taken place in the region focussed on perpetrators, and is free to all attendees.
Speaking about the importance of the event, Dr Jade Levell, a Lecturer in Criminology and Gender Violence at the University of Bristol, said, “As is clear in the Istanbul Convention, domestic abuse cannot be solved by one agency alone. It is essential to work in a Coordinated Community Response (CCR) model. All agencies and services come across victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse and so our multi-agency focus reflects that. We want to start a local conversation about the importance of cross-sector conversations to ensure that Dorset is working towards the goal of being free from gender-based violence.”
The event will cover a range of modules and topics, including dynamics of domestic abuse, engaging with perpetrators, and working in a coordinated community response network, with participation and engagement sought throughout the day.
Dr Jane Healy, a Lecturer in the Sociology of Crime and Deviance at Bournemouth University, said, “We're delighted to be hosting this event at BU in cooperation with our lead partners at Bristol. We feel this is a unique and exciting opportunity for local and regional organisations who work in this area to come together in a collaborative and supportive learning environment.”
The UK team working on the project are Dr Jade Levell at the University of Bristol, and Dr Jane Healy, Dr Orlanda Harvey, Dr Terri Cole and Professor Colin Pritchard, all at Bournemouth University. The work will be supported by the Hampton Trust, who deliver perpetrator interventions across Hampshire and Dorset. Dr Healy continued, “We are grateful to Chantal Hughes, the CEO of The Hampton Trust, for supporting this work incredibly well.”
To book your free place on the training, visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/other-side-of-the-story-perpetrators-in-change-training-networking-event-tickets-294521972147