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University experts awarded £100k to evaluate domestic abuse programme

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Academics from the University of Stirling have been awarded nearly £100,000 to evaluate a community project that aims to reduce acceptance of domestic violence.

Domestic abuse charities Respect and Women’s Aid England are working together to develop an early response to perpetrators of domestic violence and abuse.

The ‘Make a Change’ programme will work with individuals who want to stop using violence and coercive control in their relationships, in two pilot areas in England.

It will also seek to change systems that enable abuse to continue, working with communities and organisations to achieve this. 

Academics from the Faculty of Social Sciences, led by Professor Jane Callaghan, have been awarded £96,000 to look at the outcomes of the programme for perpetrators of domestic violence, their partners or ex-partners, and children.

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Domestic abuse interventions often focus on victims, and overlook the importance of changing the behaviours of those individuals who use violence in their intimate relationships
Professor Jane Callaghan Director of Child Wellbeing & Protection

Professor Callaghan said: “Domestic abuse interventions often focus on victims, and overlook the importance of changing the behaviours of those individuals who use violence in their intimate relationships.

“Interventions that are available for perpetrators tend to focus on individuals who are court-mandated to attend. Make a Change is different, offering an opportunity to reach out for help much earlier on in the process.”

Make a Change has been inspired by the charities’ Change That Lasts programme, which responds to the needs of survivors.

It is funded by the Police Transformation Fund and supported by the Office of Police Commissioner in Lincolnshire and Sussex, where the pilot sites are located. 

It will be delivered by charities Rise in Sussex and SoLDAS in Lincolnshire, who will support survivors of domestic abuse, and English-wide charity Cranstoun, which will deliver both group and one-to-one work with perpetrators as well as supporting work with organisations and communities to raise awareness of the issues.

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