Lloyds Bank Foundation is proud to have partnered with Drive on a three-year pilot to challenge and change perpetrator behaviour.

Representatives of the Drive Partnership have called for public and voluntary sector services to make perpetrators of domestic abuse a higher priority as part of a comprehensive response to ending domestic abuse.

As Peers, MPs and sector experts gathered to mark the achievements of Drive, speakers highlighted the positive impact of the programme and the fact that many areas still have no provision for challenging perpetrators, which is putting lives at risk.  

Support for all victims and survivors is vital, but alone, will not end domestic abuse, which affects one in four women and puts 100,000 lives at risk each year in the UK. To end domestic abuse, perpetrators must also be held to account, challenged and prevented from continuing their abuse. At least one in four perpetrators are repeat offenders and some have as many as six different victims.

Drive has pioneered an innovative approach to ending domestic abuse, challenging the dominant narrative by asking ‘why doesn’t he stop?’ instead of ‘why doesn’t she leave?’ The impact of the Drive pilots around the country is being assessed through an independent evaluation conducted by the University of Bristol. Initial findings reported from the first two years of Drive have shown promising results, including:

  • The reduction of physical abuse by two-thirds
  • The reduction of sexual abuse by over three quarters
  • The reduction of controlling and jealous behaviour and harassment and stalking behaviour by more than half
  • A 30% reduction in police recorded incidents of Domestic Abuse when Drive was involved, compared to no change when Drive was not involved[i]

The programme works through an intense approach to addressing perpetrator behaviour. Over three years, Drive has worked with over 1000 high-harm perpetrators, using individual case management alongside a co-ordinated multi-agency response. As well as working with individuals to challenge and address their abusive behaviour, Drive focuses on closing down and disrupting the opportunity for perpetrators to abuse by working closely with the police and other agencies.  It also addresses issues such as substance misuse, housing and mental health which can increase the risk to victims and stand in the way of changing a perpetrator’s abusive behaviour.   

Drive works hand-in-hand with Independent Domestic Violence Advisor services (IDVAs), complementing and strengthening the vital safety and support for victims and survivors that IDVAs provide, by holding the perpetrators to account for stopping the abuse now and seeking to prevent them from harming future partners and children.

The Drive Partnership calls for the government to use the forthcoming introduction of the Domestic Abuse Bill and the upcoming Spending Review to prioritise a long-term cross-governmental strategic response to ending domestic abuse, backed by funding to support the expansion of victim and survivor services alongside high-quality perpetrator interventions so that we can end abuse today and tomorrow.

Baroness Rennie Fritchie DBE, Chair at Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales said:

“Drive has shown the power of partnership across multiple organisations: between those who work with survivors and those with perpetrators; those working on a national scale and those in local communities across England and Wales and all with one aim – reducing domestic abuse by addressing it better at source. It has been a real collective endeavour committed to changing practice on the ground and improving lives. With Drive showing an impact by challenging perpetrators and better supporting survivors, we are calling on more areas and funders to make perpetrators a higher priority to prevent and reduce domestic abuse once and for all.”

For more information, please contact Alessia Terranova on aterranova@lloydsbankfoundation.org.uk or 0207 348 4619.

About Drive

Drive is an intensive intervention that aims to make victims and survivors and children safer by working with high-harm and serial perpetrators to challenge behaviour and prevent abuse. The original Drive pilot has been delivered since 2016 in Essex, South Wales, and West Sussex, by the Change Project, Safer Merthyr Tydfil, and DVIP (division of the Richmond Fellowship) and Hampton Trust. In 2018, replication testing began in Croydon, Cardiff, Worcester, and Birmingham and Sandwell, delivered by Rise Mutual, Safer Merthyr Tydfil, Cranstoun, and the Richmond Fellowship. For more information, please visit: http://driveproject.org.uk/

[i] ‘Evaluation of Year 2 of the Drive Project  – A Pilot to Address High Risk Perpetrators of Domestic Abuse Drive Project,’ University of Bristol, January 2019 http://driveproject.org.uk/about/research-evaluation/