Domestic Violence Perpetrator Programmes(DVPPs)

These programmes are delivered in private law cases through the family courts and are also known as domestic violence prevention programmes. DVPPs are designed for use in some types of cases where domestic violence has been identified as a concern related to a family proceedings case. DVPP is a group programme for men to develop their skills and understanding, enabling them to:

  • Improve their relationship with their ex-partner and where relevant, their current partner
  • Ensure, as far as is possible, their use of violence and abusive behaviour towards a partner is not repeated
  • Develop safe, positive parenting
  • Increase their awareness of themselves and the effect of the domestic violence on their ex- partner and children
  • Resolve conflicts in intimate relationships non-abusively

DVPP groups are of between 8-12 participants, take place outside working time and weekly sessions last for between 2 and 2.5 hours over about six months. They are not anger management classes.

What happens at a DVPP meeting?

Some groups are discussion based, but most use a variety of interactive exercises to make the learning realistic, stimulating and relevant to men's own situations. There are many different programmes across the UK, and the content will vary, but on the whole they will cover these issues:

  • What is violence and abuse? Why am I violent?
  • Learning that I am in control of my own behaviour and can choose not to be violent
  • Taking responsibility for my behaviour, without blaming others or minimising it
  • Understanding the impact of violence and abuse on my partner and children
  • Learning how to notice when I am becoming abusive and how to stop
  • Learning different, non-abusive ways of dealing with difficulties in my relationship.
  • Dealing non-abusively with my partner's anger.
  • Negotiation and listening- how to build a respectful relationship.

In all cases referred by the courts DVPP providers will assess an individual’s suitability for the programme. Cafcass is available to provide advice to the court about suitability and appropriateness of requiring participation in DVPP, and the management of contact during and after DVPP, depending on progress. The DVPP reports back to Cafcass on attendance, participation and significant changes in risk during attendance and at the end of the programme, thus enabling this information to be reported to the court.

How do DVPPs keep partners safe?

Every DVPP has a parallel service that provides information and supports partners and ex-partners at risk from domestic violence and this service is offered to the partner and ex-partner of any person assessed for the DVPP. In fact, a DVPP without such a service for the person who has suffered the abuse is likely to increase the risks towards her rather than promote her safety.

Are there any DVPPs for women or for men in same-sex relationships?

Most DVPPs have been designed for men in heterosexual relationships. Some of these programmes also work with women (in heterosexual or same-sex relationships) and with gay/bi-sexual men.

For more information download the DVPP factsheet or call the Respect Phoneline on 0808 802 4040.

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