‘Are you violent or abusive?
Do you have problems managing your temper?
Do you frighten people you care about?’
These are the questions the Janus Project, Sheffield’s only programme which works with men to stop their abuse of women, asks of those who walk voluntarily through its doors wanting help.
But the most important one is this: ‘Do you want to change?’
“That desire is essential if we are to break the cycle of abuse,” says Senior Therapist and Intervention Programme Coordinator Jozef Sen.
Janus, which gets around 20 enquiries a month, gives long-term support. Men are urged to stay for at least a year and after one to one therapy using anger management techniques, are encouraged to meet in a weekly group to help each other to change their violent or abusive behaviour.
Says Jozef: “We offer equal measures of support and accountability. We start from a position of hope; we explain that change is achievable if the desire and motivation to change is there.
“Men often come to us after an incident has taken place within their relationship. It is as though they have had a mirror held up to them. They are faced with a choice, to recognise, acknowledge and challenge their destructive behaviour, or to continue unchecked.”
Successes are common. “We have had no incident of physically violent behaviour towards a current or ex partner from any man who has completed the individual and group programme,” says Jozef.
“Currently every man has stayed in group therapy with us for at least six months. Some 70 per cent have stayed for a year. This is incredibly important, given that the national average for retention rates within Domestic Violence Prevention Programmes is only around 32 per cent.”
If you would like help and support to change, call the Janus Project on 0114 2498881 or go to www.sheafdas.co.uk/The-Janus-Project.html.
Janus also offers support to current or ex partners.