We talk a lot now about the victims and survivors of domestic abuse which is absolutely brilliant because the more we are talking about it the more we are giving victims and survivors the confidence to talk about their experiences.
It seems that there is very little information out there about perpetrators.
We have read a couple of things online recently here and here. Which got us to thinking about the perpetrators story; is there something there in them to make them behave in this way, is it naturally who they are, the way they were brought up, did something happen to them at home, at school, in life, were or weren’t they taught about healthy relationships?
There may be patterns but if there were easy answers, there would be less domestic abuse. Every perpetrator has their own story. However working with perpetrators must be as important as helping the victims to move on and be safe? If we were able to reduce the amount of perpetrators then it should follow that we would have less victims.
So how do you get help to tackle your abusive behaviour and how do you find the information that you need to try to change? It takes courage and strength to admit domestic abuse and to change so where can you go for support? There are perpetrator programmes available but they are patchy and not always easy to find. There is support online and by telephone here http://www.respectphoneline.org.uk/
Taking a step back, we subscribe to the saying that prevention is better than cure. If we were consistently teaching young people about healthy relationships then maybe we would stop someone from becoming a perpetrator in the first place.
One thing we are sure about, we do need to consider the whole story; victim and perpetrator to really make changes.
We need to work smart to eradicate this from our lives, we need to think about the long game not just the here and now. We need to educate and inform our local communities.
This is the Spiralling tool kit for safer, healthier relationships developed by the Bristol Domestic Abuse Prevention Project and a very comprehensive resource https://www.tamesidesafeguardingchildren.org.uk/resources/materials/toolsandresources/spiralling/spiralling_toolkit.pdf