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Perpetrator Interventions Research Brief

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posted on 26.08.2020 by Jasmine McGowan, Jessica Burley

The term ‘perpetrator intervention(s)’ refers to community and criminal justice attempts to halt and prevent the future use of domestic and family violence (FV) via direct interventions with perpetrators. A perpetrator intervention may denote any single or combined use of a suite of strategies that are all motivated by the principal goal of protecting women and children from violence.

Perpetrator interventions (PIs) fall into one of two main categories: intervention orders (IOs) and perpetrator intervention programs (PIPs). An IO is an action taken by the police and courts (sometimes at the request of the victim) that requires a perpetrator to comply with a number of conditions including the cessation of violence alongside other conditions related to the protection of the victim(s). PIPs may include individual programs of response such as court-ordered counselling but often include Men’s Behaviour Change Programs (MBCPs): these are training courses (typically delivered over 12 - 20 weeks) that a perpetrator attends either because he is mandated by the court or on a voluntary basis. Often even voluntary attendance is ‘socially mandated’ by family law specialists, child protection or family members. PIs are rehabilitative rather than punitive and aim to stop FV and shift a perpetrator’s attitudes in order to support long term change.

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