British domestic violence perpetrator programmes : 'programme integrity' within 'service integrity'

Phillips, Ruth (2015) British domestic violence perpetrator programmes : 'programme integrity' within 'service integrity'. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.


Despite its stated importance to outcome evaluations, ‘programme integrity’ has long been lamented as a lacuna in the literature, especially in relation to domestic violence perpetrator programmes (DVPPs). Indeed, the literature reveals a lack of clarity regarding programme integrity in any context, although a baseline definition recognises its role as being to ensure programmes are delivered as intended and with a high level of efficacy. A ‘dominant definition’ emerges which is premised on programmes being subject to experimental models of development and evaluation and thus requiring strict adherence to a manual.

This study draws on interviews with British DVPP pioneers, current practitioners and a case study, to explore how programme integrity is understood and practised in British DVPPs. The study finds that the dominant definition is inadequate to capture the practise of DVPPs due to their ‘process-driven’ approach which relies upon a high level of reflexivity, responsivity, and innovation. Furthermore, DVPPs require a concept of programme integrity – directly related to group-work delivery – which is embedded within a wider ‘service integrity’ which recognises the ways in which all aspects of the DVPP service contribute to integrity.

The Respect Accreditation Standard requires that the work of the whole service is taken into account but this ‘whole service approach’ has not always translated into a ‘whole service ethos’ since the men’s group-work aspect of the service is often given prominence in terms of resources and status. Thus, a concept of ‘service integrity’ is presented which builds on the Accreditation Standard and encourages a culture, or ‘whole service ethos’, that properly recognises and addresses the contributions of the whole service to achieve an intervention which is effective and innovative, and has ‘integrity’.

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