Domestic abuse victims and perpetrators both to be helped in Sheffield as part of project

A project which aims to change the behaviour of domestic abuse perpetrators is set to continue for another two years.

By Lucy Ashton, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 26th August 2021, 10:44 am

Inspire to Change is a voluntary programme which works alongside the criminal justice system and includes referrals from custody suites.

Sheffield Council manager Alison Higgins said the aim was to reduce violence and the risk, support victims, safeguard children and raise awareness of domestic abuse.

“Working to change the behaviour of perpetrators is paramount in protecting and supporting victims, preventing escalation, and increasing risk.

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Town Hall.

“It complements the court mandated programmes offered by the Community Rehabilitation Company and Probation Service to a relatively small cohort of high risk perpetrators

“A key area of need across the county is to continue to challenge abusive behaviour at all levels, and this focuses on a programme of interventions – including group work and one to one support – that works with domestic abuse perpetrators to support them to change their behaviour.

“Whilst in most domestic abuse reports, the perpetrators are male we recognise that women may also be abusive.

“This programme will be accessible to people using abusive behaviour of both genders and people in same sex relationships and other under-represented groups.”

The four authorities in South Yorkshire, along with the Office of the Police and Crime Commision, run the programme with funding of £60,000 per year for a two year period.

Sheffield Council has also been given almost £221,000 from the Police and Crime Commissioner to support victims of domestic abuse with complex needs.

Ms Higgins added: “Domestic abuse affects thousands of people in Sheffield each year.

“We have good quality services to address this provided by the charity IDAS and others however for some victims, additional vulnerabilities which are often related to recent or historic trauma such as drug or alcohol dependence, poor mental health, involvement in sex work or risk of offending mean that engaging with support services is difficult for them.

“The new posts will have reduced caseloads in order to enable them to be tenacious in their efforts to engage such victims in wraparound support.”