The attorney general has been urged to examine the sentencing remarks of judge Richard Mansell QC who freed a man guilty of domestic abuse because he did not believe the victim was vulnerable.
Mustafa Bashir, 34 (pictured below) was spared a prison sentence despite forcing his wife to drink bleach, throttling her in public, and striking her with his cricket bat. Mr Bashir admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm. He was ordered to pay £1000 costs, attend a relationship course and no longer contact his wife.
The judge commented that he did not believe his wife was vulnerable because she was “an intelligent woman with a network of friends” and a college degree. Mr Bashir’s defence lawyer also argued that Mr Bashir was about to sign a contract with Leicestershire Country Cricket club if he was spared jail. Subsequently the club denied he had been offered a contract and this information had been false. The judge said he was not convinced of Mr Bashir’s remorse but he did take into account his career prospects in his sentencing.
Criticism of the judges stance is twofold firstly that many different types of women are in fact vulnerable to domestic violence and secondly that Mr Bashir’s career prospects should have been irrelevant to the sentencing.
Polly Neate chief executive of Women’s Aid said ‘It is a complete fallacy that only a certain type of woman can become a victim of domestic abuse. In fact, perpetrators target women of all ages from all sections of society’.
Sandra Horley chief executive of Refuge also commented ‘What a woman does for a job, her level of education or the number of friends she has makes no difference; for any woman, domestic violence is a devastating crime that has severe and long-lasting impacts.’ She added ‘men who abuse women do not make positive role models; it is concerning when men’s professional or celebrity status is used in court to defend them.’
A Guardian article covering this story is available here.
The West Midlands ADVANCE team were excited last week to bring together key organisations and academics from the field of IPV and substance misuse to discuss the ADVANCE project. The Learning Alliance will work together to strengthen and support the exchange of information, whilst enhancing the possibilities of mainstreaming the integration of domestic abuse interventions with substance use services.
Members of the West Midlands Learning Alliance included the following organisations: Swanswell, Public Health England, West Midlands Violence Prevention Alliance, West Midlands Police, Richmond Fellowship, West Mercia Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre, Police and Crime Commissioner, West Mercia, Anawim, West Mercia Women’s Aid, South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Aquarius, Worcester County Council, Safe & Sound Malvern Hills and Cranston.
The Worcester Research Team introduced the ADVANCE project in-depth, and explained the projects goals and workstreams. Representatives discussed their thoughts on the research plans and highlighted best practice surrounding safety when recruiting survivors of IPV into research. Representatives discussed language used to recruit survivors and safety protocols that should be implemented for both the participants and researchers taking part.
Overall, feedback from the first meeting was very positive with representatives expressing how nice it was to be able to share experiences of the challenging nature when working with substance users + IPV perpetrators with similar organisations.
The next meeting will be in June. If you would like more information on the Learning Alliance or would like to attend the next Learning Alliance meeting then please contact Amy Johnson on email@example.com.
The Framework for working safely and effectively with men who perpetrate intimate partner violence in substance use treatment settings was developed from the findings of the bilateral project ‘Perpetration of intimate partner violence by males in substance abuse treatment: a cross-cultural research Learning Alliance’ (funded by the Economic and Social Research Council ES/K002589/1)
The Framework is aimed primarily at people who work within substance use treatment services to define and clarify the key capabilities (i.e. knowledge, attitude and values, ethical practice, skills and reflection and professional development) for working with men who use substances (drugs and alcohol), and who perpetrate intimate partner violence.
The first part gives an overview of the rationale for the development of the framework, including background information on intimate partner violence perpetration by people who receive substance use services. The second part describes the capabilities themselves. The final part contains useful resources including user friendly self-assessment and team checklist designed to allow a service to rapidly implement and benefit from the framework.
Here is the link to download the framework, click ‘capabilities framework’.
The first London Learning Alliance for the ADVANCE project took place this week at Kings College London. The Learning Alliance will work together to address this issue across sectors by supporting the exchange of information and good practice. Members of the London Learning Alliance include drug and alcohol treatment services, domestic violence survivor and perpetrator organisations, the Department of Health, the Home Office, Public Health England and local authorities.
Gail Gilchrist and Polly Radcliffe described the project goals and work streams. Participants were asked to comment on the research plans and to highlight best practice surrounding safety when recruiting survivors of IPV into research. Attendees suggested strategies when contacting IPV survivors and how to work with partners and perpetrators simultaneously.
Attendees shared what they hoped to gain from attending the learning alliance more broadly. Common themes included sharing experience on the challenges of working with substance using IPV perpetrators. Attendees were invited to promote their activities, reports or events through this blog. The next meeting will take place in June.
If you are interested in attending our Learning Alliance meetings please contact Juliet.firstname.lastname@example.org
The Domestic Violence Intervention Project (DVIP) and Cranstoun has published a report detailing outcomes of working with 30 male perpetrators of domestic violence in a substance treatment context. The report documents what has been learnt from the pilot programme that assesses and treats a group of men disclosing behavioural concerns relating to substance us and DV.
DVIP and Cranstoun jointly developed a safety focussed, 60+ hours day programme designed to support the aims and objectives of a substance use treatment programme. It combines the two working styles by using emotionally challenging and more general self-talk and CBT material. The assessment process used to recruit men to the group showed the majority of men had used severe and persistent violence and abuse in their intimate relationships.
1. 87% of men started treatment
2. 77% of men completed over 30 hours of DV prevention work
3. Men on the programme reduced their drug/alcohol use by 29% and reported a 40% improvement in their quality of life
4. The combined intervention did not impinge on the aims of the substance use treatment
5. Active contact was established with 53% of ex/partners
6. Only 1 woman disclosed an incidence of violence during the programme
7. 87% of men commenced treatment
8. 77% of men completed more than 30 hours of treatment
The report concluded:
The high proportion of men using persistent and severe violence and abuse in their relationships and the programme outcomes highlight the need for a combined intervention. The authors recommend that other domestic violence and substance misuse agencies bring together their skills and understanding to deliver joint substance misuse and domestic violence interventions. All joint work should be conducted alongside a partner support service and delivered by dedicated and experienced staff to allow for a comprehensive case and risk management process to take place alongside service delivery.
If you would like more details please contact Cranstoun on 0207 923 8010.
You can download the report here.
Sarah-Jane Lilley-Walker, Marianne Hester and William Turner of the Centre for Gender and Violence Research at the University of Bristol have published an article in the International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology (IJOTCC) reviewing evaluations of European Domestic Violence Perpetrator Programmes has been published. Please find the article title and a summary of the paper below. You can download the paper here.
Evaluation of European Domestic Violence Perpetrator Programmes: Toward a Model for Designing and Reporting Evaluations Related to Perpetrator Treatment Interventions
Recognising the methodological challenges that have so far prevented us from fully understanding how domestic violence perpetrator programmes (DVPPs) might work to create positive change, it is essential to further investigate how such treatment interventions might contribute to the safety of women and children victims/survivors. Based on an extensive review of 60 evaluations of European domestic violence perpetrator programmes – conducted as part of the European Commission–funded project “IMPACT: Evaluation of European Perpetrator Programmes” (Daphne III Programme) which aimed to identify the possibilities of a harmonised multi-country evaluation of DVPPs – Lilley et al (2016) propose a model that should be used and promoted in this field of evaluation to facilitate more accurate and robust sample profiling in order to better understand who is participating and why; who is dropping out, when and why; who is completing; and who is actually changing; when, why, and how.
On 25th November, the ADVANCE research team at the University of Worcester were excited to launch the ADVANCE programme in conjunction with the ‘16 days of action against gender -based violence’. Prof. Liz Gilchrist introduced the cutting edge programme, talking through the overall project and informing a number of representatives across the West Midlands of the current progress made by the research team. During the session, Liz revealed;
‘that in the light of increasing awareness of the complexity and scale of intimate partner abuse across the UK, the ADVANCE study is a real opportunity to explore one of the most common factors linked with intimate partner abuse, substance use; and explore the processes by which this contributes to risk and impact, and explore how increased knowledge around the interplay between these two factors might enable us to deliver interventions that are more effective than our previous versions, and which fit with a move to holistic interventions delivered in line with our knowledge of what works in terms of therapeutic skills and alliance.’
After a great response, many of those attending the event, (from a number of organisations including ANAWIM, AQUARIUS, Richmond Fellowship, Worcester County Council, a number of West Midlands based NHS Trusts, and Warwickshire and West Mercia Police), stayed for an information session regarding the Leaning Alliance being established alongside this programme. In short, it was explained how the West Midlands Learning Alliance will enable organisations and frontline staff members to have an input into the programme, sharing their experiences and thoughts with others to ensure the formation of a robust programme. Finally, to end a very informative and productive day, the research team met with a number of members from local sites interested in participating in this research and the first wave of data collection. Throughout the day, the enthusiasm for the programme from those attending was great, leaving the researchers excited for the next stages of the programme.