URU Connect hosted a visit from representatives of The Crisis Centre for Women and Children “Ekaterina”, Russia and the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service from 25th to 28th October 2017 to share experience of working with perpetrators of domestic violence in the UK. The visit was part of the 2017-2018 project aiming to develop and implement a pioneering Domestic Violence Perpetrator Programme (DVPP) in Sverdlovsk Area, Russia.
The programme started with the visit to the Child and Women Abuse and Study Unit at the London Metropolitan University to meet the legendary domestic violence researcher Elizabeth A. Kelly CBE, professor and director of the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit (CWASU), London Metropolitan, the former head of the Women’s National Commission, and co-chair of the End Violence Against Women Coalition. Ms Kelly shared finding of the recent research demonstrating that taking part in a DVPP can make a real difference to the lives of those involved, including children who have been affected. Following the DVPP delivered to their partners, far fewer women reported being physically injured, with 61 percent before compared to 2 percent after. Women’s accounts, in the main, reflected reductions in violence and abuse for all forms of violence. Over half of the women reported feeling ‘very safe’ after the programme, compared to less than one in ten before the programme (51 percent compared to 8 percent) (L Kelly & N Westmarland, 2015).
Senior Lecturer in Criminology at London Metropolitan University and former Probation Officer, Will Hughes, shared his knowledge of running a DVPP programme through a Probation service a Statutory programme and the process of selecting candidates for the course. His colleague Angie Jenner gave the group an overview of the current situation, process through our courts, support services and definition of DA reviewed in 2013.
During their visit to the West Midlands Police headquarters, the Russian partners met with the Police Officers Rani Gundhu and Katherine Stock. The visitors learnt about the new CARA – Cautioning and Relationship Abuse programme, which has been launched as a picket by the West Midlands, Police last year to facilitate early interventions and change offending behaviour before it reoccurs or escalates to reduce victimisation. This is following the programme run in Hampshire with some amazing results. This short term programme is run by The Hampton Trust demonstrating 35% reduction in reoffending and 25% reduction in harm.
ARCH (North Staffs) specialists kindly shared their experience of running a comprehensive 30-week DVPP programme as well as Integrated Support Service for partners/ex-partners of perpetrators making contact with the service. ARCH is one of 15 organisations to have achieved the full “Respect” accreditation. The outcomes are very impressive with 90% of those completing the full programme demonstrating both the capacity and motivation to change their behaviour and 100% reduced their level of violence, emotional power and control behaviour.
Sara Kirkpatrick, Services Development Manager, RESPECT, and Nina George, Research and Development Manager, European Network for Work with Perpetrators (WWP-EN) delivered a session on elements of a successful programme for perpetrators and emphasised the need to deliver support for female partners of the those on the DVPP programmes. The visitors learnt about RESPECT and the accreditation standards for the DVPP programmes which helped many organisations to give their clients, stakeholders and commissioners confidence that the work is safe, of high quality and impactful. The international good practice were shared though the work of WWP EN network.
At the review and assessment meeting visitors confirmed the study meetings were very successful with the overwhelmingly positive feedback given by the Russian professionals. The members of the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service commented that the study programme “totally turned around” their views on the work with perpetrators. Russian partners said they had “lots of new ideas” and have a “much wider view “ on how the programme can work.
On their return home the partners will work together to use the British expertise to develop the first of its kinds DVPP programme in Russia to help people, who have been abusive towards their partners or ex-partners, change their behaviour and develop respectful, non-abusive relationships.
The Crisis Centre “Ekaterina” will work with the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia to deliver the pilot programme in Sverdlovsk Area. The training programme and materials will be shared through the Coalition of the Crisis Centres of the Ural Siberian Region and wider through the domestic violence sector in Russia.
Kath Rees MBE said “we are proud to be able to support our International partners in developing new strategies to improve safety for women and children victims of domestic violence in Russia”.
This project builds on the achievements of previous work with the Crisis Centre for Women and Children “Ekaterina” and the Coalition of the Crisis Centre of the Ural Siberian Region. Members of URU Connect have been working with “Ekaterina” since 1997 supporting “Ekaterina” during its previous successful international projects.
We would like to thank all those who willingly gave their time and shared information with the visitors. A Conference will be held in March 2018 in Ekaterinburg to formally launch the programme to which senior police and prison officers, judicial and Embassy staff will be invited.
URU Connect, a non-governmental non-profit organization established in 2009, which provides and/or assist in the provision of services and development opportunities for the advancement of women in social life, to ensure their human rights are recognised.
The Crisis Centre for Women and Children “Ekaterina”, set up in 1998, provides social, psychological, and legal support to women experiencing domestic violence; raising public awareness about the problem of domestic violence and about the trafficking of Russian women and girls. The centre also operates a telephone hotline, organises support groups and individual help for women, and when necessary provides legal assistance for women who are taking their domestic violence cases through the court.
Representatives of the two non-governmental, not-for-profit organisations have worked together in partnership for over 20 years to support vulnerable women and children and promote women’s development in both countries.
URU Connect, United Kingdom,
Elvira Wilson, Director
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: www.uru.org.uk
The Crisis Centre for Women and Children “Ekaterina”, Russia,
Ludmila Ermakova, Director
Email: email@example.com, Website: http://www.kc-ekaterina.ru/en/abouten.php