Trial of a Group programme for men who are concerned about their abusive behaviour

What is REPROVIDE Workstream II?

REPROVIDE Workstream II has developed, and is in the process of testing, a programme to help men who are concerned about their behaviour in relationships with women.

We know that often men are worried about the impact of abusive or violent behaviour on their families or ex-partners, but that it can be difficult to get help to stop behaving this way. We also know that although there is some evidence to suggest that group programmes might be helpful for men who want to stop being abusive, there is not yet enough evidence to understand the outcomes, impact and effectiveness. Given that a wide range of perpetrator programmes are already available across the UK and commissioners have access to very little information about their effectiveness and outcomes we also wanted to undertake research to inform commissioning decisions regarding their funding and to identify ways to improve these services.

We have already run a pilot study to see if it is feasible, acceptable and safe to run this research, and we are now commencing a larger scale study expanding from the pilot site of Bristol/North Somerset and South Gloucestershire to include 3 additional sites in Somerset, Wiltshire and Blaenau Gwent. Our aim now is to test a group intervention programme, so we can see if these really do help men and improve safety for their partners, ex-partners, and their children.

A final component of the study is to determine the cost effectiveness of the intervention to both the individual and society.

Aims and objectives of REPROVIDE Workstream II

The rationale for this trial is that, despite the widespread availability of perpetrator programmes across the UK, Europe and North America, there is still uncertainty about their effectiveness and relatively little research has been undertaken to explore this, both in the UK and internationally. As a result, at present we do not know enough about group programmes for perpetrators of domestic abuse and how much they can really help men or their partners, ex-partners and children. The primary aim of the study therefore is to investigate the effectiveness of the group programme intervention on reducing men’s abusive behaviour against women.

In order to do this, we are running a ‘randomised controlled trial’ whereby we compare outcomes for men who take part in a group programme (the intervention group) against outcomes for men who have not taken part in a group programme (the comparison group). We will also be looking at the effects on the partners and ex-partners of the men taking part in the trial.

This work is part of a wider research REPROVIDE programme funded by the National Institute for Health Research, Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR ref: RP-PG-0614-20012).

The Department of Health and Social Care is funding this study through the National Institute for Health Research and Public Health England. The Wales-based component of the programme is being supported by Health and Care Research Wales. The research is being carried out by a team of experienced researchers who are based at the University of Bristol.

The views and opinions expressed therein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the HS&DR Programme, NIHR, or the Department of Health and Social Care.


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