Help to change

Salford is to pilot a new service to help domestic abusers change their behaviour.

Domestic abuse incidents have risen over the past few years while calls to the national helpline have soared by 25 per cent during lockdown.

The new service, funded by Salford NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, will aim to break the cycle of abuse. Salford City Council, which is commissioning the service from Greater Manchester charity TLC: Talk, Listen, Change, says over 79 per cent of cases supported by its children’s services involve concerns about domestic abuse.

Last year the multi-agency MARAC panel which reviews domestic abuse cases heard over 1,040 high risk cases, just over 500 of which were repeat instances.

“Sadly, domestic abuse is on the increase nationally and the COVID-19 lockdown has only made matters worse. As people get more opportunities to get out of the house we expect to see a rise in calls for help,” said Deputy City Mayor Councillor John Merry.

“We would encourage anyone experiencing any form of controlling behaviour or domestic abuse to ask for help from their GP, from any professional or by contacting the national helpline or any support group. Domestic abuse can happen to anyone of any age.

“Important as that support for victims is, we need to break the cycle and stop this behaviour now. Domestic abuse should not be accepted as the norm in relationships.”

Dr Sharmishtha Ghangrekar, Named GP for Safeguarding Children at Salford CCG, said: "Given the significant impact of domestic abuse on the people of Salford, trying alternative ways to tackle the root of the problem is important.

“Sometimes, perpetrators of domestic abuse are aware that their behaviour is harmful but do not know how to change. We hope that teaching perpetrators different ways to behave in relationships will lead to safer and happier lives for people in Salford."

The year-long pilot, which will cost £108,476 will fund three project workers to work one to one with up to 60 men, supporting them to change their behaviour. They will also carry out group work with another 24 men and deliver training for professionals. The charity also supports women abusers who want to change their behaviour.

TLC Chief Executive Michelle Hill said: “We’re really pleased to have the opportunity to deliver this new service in Salford. We are passionate about helping end domestic abuse and believe that one of the ways to do this is to work with perpetrators to change their behaviour whilst also offering support to victims and survivors.”

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Date published
Monday 7 September 2020

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