Domestic violence perpetrators to be offered services in a bid to stop 'cycles of abuse'

People who subject their partners to domestic abuse will be offered services aimed at breaking cycles of abuse under a planned new approach.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 14 June, 2019, 11:49
Picture by PA

The plight of those suffering from domestic abuse is rarely far from the headlines, and nearly half of all referrals to South Tyneside's children’s services department involve some level of domestic abuse.

According to the council’s website, the overall cost to the borough stands at £47million per year – and repeat cases of domestic abuse make up 40% of all incidents.

Now town hall chiefs are looking at offering services to the perpatrators of domestic violence as well as the victims in a bid to reduce domestic violence in the long-term.

Head of Children and Families Social Care on the council, Shona Gallagher, said a new model aimed to tackle the “cyclical” nature of some domestic abuse cases in South Tyneside, where perpatrors separated from families could move on and repear the pattern of abuse.

She said: “The model is really focusing on that but it will by no means diminish the response to victims.

“It’s about trying to tackle the issue head on.

“We’re very good at reactive services, all we want to do is transform the model in which we will take a much more preventative approach.

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“It’s a very complex area, we have been doing this work for quite a long time and we’re about to enter the next phase.”

The council says there is a need to tackle “entrenched behaviours and impact on children and young people” to reduce the impact of domestic abuse.

The majority of South Tyneside victims fleeing violence tend to be placed outside of the borough with some victims from other local authorities relocated to South Tyneside.

In this context, councillors were told a wider regional approach was needed for refuge provision.

Shona Gallagher said: “It’s not a victim’s responsibility to do perpetrator behaviour, but perpetrator behaviour is not going to be addressed by offering nothing.”

The meeting heard a large proportion of domestic abuse came from male perpetrators and that there were links, though not causal, with alcohol.