Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence

This work aims to increase the provision of effective, evidence-based services for those at risk of committing VAWDASV related offences. It champions the development of communication processes and the sharing of best practice between providers of VAWDASV perpetrator services in Wales, while aiming to inform a shared understanding of 'what works' in preventing offending and reducing reoffending for VAWDASV perpetrators.

Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (VAWDASV) is a significant problem for the lives of those it affects and challenging for the public agencies who respond to it.

This work supports the priorities of the Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015, which addresses domestic abuse and sexual violence perpetrated against all people in Wales, irrespective of gender or sexual orientation. In particular, this work supports Objective 3 of the VAWDASV National Strategy 2016 - 2021: 'Increased focus on holding perpetrators to account and provide opportunities to change their behaviour based around victim safety'. 

The priorities of this work are:

  • Develop a clear understanding of the risk and need profile of VAWDASV perpetrators in Wales
  • Develop a shared understanding of ‘what works’ with VAWDASV perpetrators to reduce their risk of re-offending and effect long-term change
  • Increase the provision of effective VAWDASV perpetrator services that meet minimum standards
  • Increase the commissioning and provision of effective VAWDASV perpetrator services that reflect the risks and needs of the population and effect long-term change
  • Increase the provision of services aiming to prevent VAWDASV
  • Develop communication processes between providers of VAWDASV perpetrator services in Wales, sharing best practice
  • All staff in organisations working with VAWDASV perpetrators will be ACE (adverse childhood experiences) and trauma-informed

Progress to date:

Practice Sharing Events:

Practice Sharing events are held quarterly to allow services to share examples of the work they have been doing within their programmes and to enable researchers to discuss their findings. These events help those who work with VAWDASV perpetrators to establish a greater collective understanding of 'what works'. They also provide a networking opportunity while promoting and encouraging collaborative working.

Rapid Evidence Assessment:

The Rapid Evidence Assessment was published in December 2018.

The assessment outlines existing and completed research on 'what works' with domestic abuse perpetrators to prevent such offending and reduce the risk of re-offending. While not providing support for one approach over any others, the assessment does identify which programmes look more promising.

https://gov.wales/rapid-evidence-assessment-what-works-domestic-abuse-perpetrators-0

Perpetrator Services Standards:

The Perpetrator Services Standards were published in December 2018.

These standards are for both commissioners and services to use when making decisions regarding the development, delivery, evaluation and commissioning (or decommissioning) of VAWDASV perpetrator services in Wales. They provide the minimum requirements for all perpetrator services and will support commissioners in commissioning perpetrator services of high quality, that are most likely to be effective and minimise risk of further harm.

These standards do not offer an alternative to existing specialist accreditation provided by Correctional Services Accreditation and Advice Panel and The Respect Standard - any service that is accredited by either of these organisations does not need to duplicate work in order to show compliance with the Welsh Government Perpetrator Services Standards.

https://gov.wales/violence-against-women-domestic-abuse-and-sexual-violence-perpetrator-service-standards

Good Practice Guidance for non-specialist public services working with adult perpetrators:

The Good Practice Guidance was published in November 2019.

This guidance is aimed at non-specialist public services, such as health care and education, to offer advice and information on working with adult VAWDASV perpetrators. The guidance aims to increase awareness of what VAWDASV is, who perpetrates it and why working with those perpetrators is necessary as well as providing information about the referral options which are available across Wales.

https://gov.wales/violence-against-women-domestic-abuse-and-sexual-violence-public-services-good-practice-guide

Current Work

We have a multi-agency workstream taking forward the following projects:

  • Encouraging commissioners and funders to invest in safe, effective, evidence-based perpetrator services
  • Working with perpetrator services to develop and deliver services that are accredited or that meet Welsh Government Standards
  • Developing a shared understanding of effective approaches to service user (i.e. VAWDASV perpetrator) involvement