Vera Baird

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Commissioner hosts North East event on services for domestic abuse perpetrators

28th November 2017

Northumbria Police & Crime Commissioner Dame Vera Baird QC hosts special event in the North East on safe and effective services for perpetrators of domestic violence and abuse

On Day 4 of the annual 16 Days of Action to End Violence Against Women & Girls, specialist charity holds North East launch of its Respect Standard for work with perpetrators, which focuses on behaviour change and risk management, and above all has safety of domestic violence and abuse survivors and their children at its heart.

Respect – the leading voice in the UK on working with perpetrators of domestic violence and abuse – today (28th November 2017) introduces the 3rd edition of its specialist quality standard in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

The Respect Standard sets the bar for effective work with perpetrators of domestic violence and abuse, with the main aim of keeping past, present and future victims and survivors safer.

The Respect Standard has already received endorsement from a range of professionals, specialist agencies and individual victims and survivors of domestic violence and abuse.

A female survivor whose male partner used a Respect accredited service said:

“It all made sense when I read the standards, not just what the group was about but how this was a service for me, my safety and my children’s safety. The Respect Standard gave me real peace of mind.”

Dame Vera Baird QC, Police & Crime Commissioner for Northumbria, who recently became an official patron of Respect and will host today’s event said:

“As a Police and Crime Commissioner, I want to ensure I spend my budget wisely on good quality interventions which are effective, but most of all which are safe. 

To fund something cheap, would be a false economy and in the worst cases could actually be dangerous, giving the survivor and other agencies the sense that the perpetrator’s risk was being managed and that there was a chance of change, when that isn’t the case. 

The Respect Standard has been carefully researched and reflects best practice at the current time. Work with perpetrators is a relatively new field and is evolving quickly and it’s good to know that the standard is regularly reviewed to reflect emerging knowledge.

It is also great to see a section on innovation, which will help those planning new, un-tested interventions, to develop them in a safe way.”

Respect is aiming to increase the number of accredited services, and to encourage commissioners and funders to use Respect accreditation as a core criterion when choosing which services to support.

Respect Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jo Todd added

“Survivors deserve more than support; they need to know that agencies are working together to deal with perpetrators effectively.

That means providing opportunities for perpetrators to change, but it also means holding them to account and taking steps to disrupt and prevent future violence and abuse.

The Standard will support service providers to ensure they’re providing quality services that do no harm, and will enable commissioners to make informed and responsible decisions about what services to fund.”

A man who completed a Respect accredited programme also commented:

“I thought I could never defeat the demon inside of me but the service taught me some incredible tools to change my ways and to help me stay on the straight and narrow. Even when things go wobbly, because of the service I am able to pull myself together.”

Ms Todd added:                        

“If you’re hurting someone you love, you can choose to stop; contact the Respect Phoneline on 0808 802 4040 for help.

Or if you’re concerned about someone’s violent or abusive behaviour, you can also get in touch via the confidential phoneline, email or web chat.”