As well as support for victims of domestic abuse there is also help available for perpetrators willing to take responsibility for aggressive, controlling or violent behaviours.
Perpetrators who come forward for help are given the opportunity to learn non-abusive ways of behaving within a relationship.
As with victims of domestic abuse, there is no such thing as a typical perpetrator – they may be male or female, in heterosexual or same-sex relationships.
Although there is support available a change can only be made if the person takes responsibility for what has happened and faces up to the fact that abusive behaviour is about control. To successfully change they must:
- Face the truth – it’s about their behaviour, not their partner, drugs, alcohol or stress
- Understand their anger and desire to control
- Make a choice – they can choose to be abusive and they can choose not to be
- Seek help from professionals
- Accept their partner has the right to live without being dominated and controlled
Who should I contact for help?
If you genuinely care for your partner you should get help. Respect – the national association for domestic violence perpetrator programmes and associated support services – can help you find a programme. Contact them on freephone 0808 802 4040.
And if I don’t change?
Abuse is against the law; criminal prosecution and imprisonment may well be your fate and your partner may choose to leave.
You can read the stories of people who have sought help for their abusive behaviour here.