Domestic violence perpetrator programmes : steps towards change. Project Mirabal final report

Kelly, Liz and Westmarland, Nicole (2015) Domestic violence perpetrator programmes : steps towards change. Project Mirabal final report. Project Report. London Metropolitan University and Durham University, London and Durham.


As we complete this study there is more conversation about what is to be done with perpetrators of domestic violence than for some time - a conversation which ricochets across police, social services, women’s support services, multi-agency groups, policymakers, commissioners, media commentators and academics. At issue are two key questions:

- Do domestic violence perpetrator programmes (DVPPs) actually work in reducing men’s violence and abuse and increasing the freedom of women and children?
- How do we hold more perpetrators to account, since even if DVPPs do work, their limited capacity means the majority of men do not access them and criminal justice interventions alone are clearly not creating the change that all stakeholders seek?

This report can offer evidence with respect to the first question and will engage with the second. The starting point for Project Mirabal was our contention that we had reached an impasse in both research and policy on perpetrator programmes. On the one hand are repeated calls for interventions that call perpetrators to account, whilst on the other a deep scepticism about both routes for so doing - perpetrator programmes and criminal justice sanctions. This scepticism results in such programmes being held to far more stringent levels of scrutiny and measures of success than criminal justice interventions, intensified in the era of outcomes and cost led public policy. This is the context in which this report is set.

ProjectMirabalfinalreport.pdf - Published Version

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