Workstream II: group intervention for men
Frequently asked questions (FAQS)
Is REPROVIDE still recruiting during the Coronavirus period?
YES! The REPROVIDE study trialling a group intervention for men is still open to recruitment.
Please continue to send referrals to the research team through the usual channels (phone 07976 22 5462 or 07870 376 548 or email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Why are we still recruiting?
We recognise that during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 period of increased stress, uncertainty, home confinement and isolation, domestic abuse is likely to increase. We therefore feel that as far as possible, it is important that domestic abuse services provide support to men wanting to change their abusive behaviour and to their (ex)-partners. The REPROVIDE study is continuing to recruit men as before (although with the important changes below). This means that as well as recruiting participants, we will be asking them to complete questionnaires and offering services to those randomly allocated to our 23-week domestic abuse perpetrator programme.
Modifications during COVID-19
The group intervention for those men allocated to receive it is currently suspended in its weekly group format, in order to reduce the spread of the virus. Instead domestic abuse coordinators will be in regular contact with participants by phone, WhatsApp or Skype, offering support and advice. The weekly group programme will start up again as soon as health and government advisors tell us that it is safe to do so and being already signed up means men can move more quickly into one of these groups.
Female partners and ex partners of men allocated to receive the intervention: Support to these partners will continue to be offered as normal, using remote methods.
Safe recruitment methods to the study have been put in place, using phone, Skype, WhatsApp. These will be used during the COVID-19 period.
Safeguarding – we will continue to monitor risk and safeguarding concerns with all our participants and contact the appropriate authorities and agencies where needed.
Why a health-based intervention?
Domestic violence and abuse poses a major public health and clinical challenge to the NHS, is associated with health problems in victims, perpetrators, and their children, including poor physical health, long-term illness or disability, and poor mental health. Annually, health problems arising from domestic abuse cost the NHS 1.8% of its total budget and this is without considering the even greater societal costs.
There is growing recognition of the impact domestic abuse can have on women and children, but virtually no recognition by clinicians of men as victims or perpetrators and little research on effective interventions.
The health impact of domestic violence and abuse makes provision of effective domestic abuse perpetrator programmes to prevent further violence a legitimate part of healthcare services. With the move towards evidence-based commissioning of health services, we need to rigorously test programmes particularly with regards to safety and health outcomes for victims/survivors, but also for perpetrator behaviour.
Why is the domestic abuse perpetrator programme only for men?
The decision to include only male perpetrators in the study was made for a range of reasons including because available data indicate that men are far more likely to be perpetrators of domestic abuse than women . For example, in their annual audit of domestic abuse services Women’s Aid found that in 93.1% of cases domestic abuse perpetrators were male . Other data available indicate that the majority of those involved in the criminal justice system, who have been identified as perpetrators of domestic abuse, are men. In addition, most of the recorded incidents of domestic abuse are perpetrated by men within heterosexual relationships , although we recognise that domestic abuse is not limited to heterosexual relations and can affect individuals of all sexual orientations and genders.
Although this study is focusing upon men who are concerned about their abusive behaviour in relationships with women we do recognise that men can also be victims of domestic abuse. Female perpetrators of domestic abuse tend to receive help on a one-to-one basis and, as we are examining the effectiveness of group programmes, male only groups are the most appropriate for this study.
What support is provided to the partners or ex-partners of the men allocated to the domestic abuse perpetrator program
The partners or ex-partners of men attending the programme will be contacted by a designated women’s worker who will offer appropriate support and provide advice regarding risk and safety. The number, frequency and length of sessions with the women’s support worker, if taken up, will vary depending on the needs of each woman. Partners and ex-partners do not have to accept this support, if they would rather not.