Parliament is in session and we want domestic abuse to the top of the agenda.
More than 1.9 million adults experienced domestic abuse last year, each one abused by a perpetrator. Perpetrators are the people committing domestic abuse but are often missing from the narrative and the response.
Last week, our CEO Michelle Hill attended the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) at Portcullis House in London, which aimed to continue the conversations regarding domestic abuse and launch the call to action for a national Perpetrator Strategy.
Signatories involved in this Call to Action
The strategy has 5 key points:
- Public and voluntary services empowered to hold perpetrators to account
- Best practice interventions available across England and Wales
- National Quality Assurance Systems
- A sustainable, predictable source of funding
- National and local leaders to spearhead the perpetrator strategy
The APPG was chaired by Thangam Debbonaire and included speakers such as Jo Todd (CEO, Respect) Vicky (SafeLives Pioneer), Nicole Jacobs (Domestic Abuse Commissioner) and Suzanne Jacobs (CEO, SafeLives).
Jo spoke about the amount of work it has taken the sector to get the call to action to this point and noted what is being felt strongly across our sector at the moment – holding perpetrators to account is the only way to end domestic abuse. She spoke about the ‘postcode lottery’ which means some areas have no perpetrator interventions at all.
There was also an emphasis on a variety of perpetrator interventions being available, to fit the different types of perpetrators and a reminder of the importance of adhering to quality standards when working with perpetrators. Furthermore, Jo noted that it is important to remember that if opportunities to change are not taken by perpetrators, then police-led disruption can be used – the strategy isn’t about choosing one programme over another.
SafeLives Pioneer, Vicky spoke about her own personal experience of domestic abuse and her support for a perpetrator strategy. She was followed by Nicole Jacobs, who also pledged her support to the strategy and stated that much more investment is needed within the sector.
Suzanne Jacobs, who had been discussing the call to action on the Today Programme earlier in the morning, provided detailed amendments that are being suggested for the Domestic Abuse Bill and importantly noted that
the sector is changing the rhetoric from…Why doesn’t she leave? to Why doesn’t he stop?
Individuals representing their respective charities and organisations
We are so pleased, as an organisation that this event was hosted and the Perpetrator Strategy has been launched. It calls for essential changes that we have been championing for many years throughout our work.
I was really proud to be able to represent TLC: Talk, Listen, Change at the APPG on Perpetrators of Domestic Abuse. We have delivered our Respect-accredited perpetrator behaviour change programme for over 12 years now and have seen first hand the life-changing difference perpetrator interventions can have on families. We are committed to fighting to end domestic abuse for good and see the provision of safe and effective perpetrator programmes as critical to this.
To learn more about how we’re working to end domestic abuse, just click here.
If you are interested in the Perpetrator Strategy, you can download it here.