The DRIVE project – a RISE Perspective
Why is it that the public narrative about Domestic Abuse is often heard as: ‘Why doesn’t she leave?’ What is asked less frequently is: ‘Why doesn’t he stop?’
Domestic Abuse is a devastating crime, which shatters the lives of children and families, and has a lasting impact on the community.
Here at RISE Mutual we are delivering an innovative new project in Croydon, a London borough with high rates of domestic abuse, which aims to reduce the number of adult and child victims by disrupting and changing perpetrator behaviour. The RESPECT, SafeLives, Social Finance-led project sees RISE collaborate with the Croydon Family Justice Centre (FJC), the police and local specialist agencies to challenge the behaviour of high-risk perpetrators of domestic abuse. The focus of the project is to hold the perpetrators to account, rather than expecting punitive measures of uprooting the victim and children from their family, community and schools to be the solution; thereby allowing the perpetrator to move from one victim to the next.
Concerningly, only 1% of domestic abuse perpetrators receive specialist intervention. This figure is unacceptable when we consider the horrendous impact to adult and child victims.
The success of DRIVE is critically reliant on a co-ordinated multi-agency response, in order to reduce risk and enhance the likelihood of meaningful engagement with the perpetrator. It has a 3-pronged approach: to disrupt abusive behaviour, provide support, and engage perpetrators in behavioural change. This is done through a tailored response to each individual. Managing risk is vital and Case Managers liaise closely with IDVAs (Independent Domestic Abuse Advisors) to ensure that measures taken are always evaluated and considered in light of the safety of the victims/children.
It is too early to comment in any detail on the individual successes of the DRIVE project as there is still 10 months to go, which will equate to a lot of data being pulled from those cases we have worked with. Our highly skilled and experienced Case Managers are currently working with over 70 perpetrators (many directly, some indirectly with a view to making contact in due course). These are the highest risk perpetrators of domestic abuse, referred through the MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference). Many of these individuals are already developing insights into their behaviour and showing motivation to change. Our work is multi-faceted but can involve supporting individuals to receive specialist help to address drug/alcohol addiction, housing, mental health intervention, as well as challenging the thoughts, beliefs and behaviours which underpin abusive behaviour.
The University of Bristol has evaluated the findings from the pilot DRIVE sites after 2 years.
The number of Drive service users using each type of domestic abuse behaviour reduced substantially: 
> Physical abuse reduced by two-thirds
> Sexual abuse reduced by over three-quarters
> Controlling behaviour reduced by over half
> Harassment and stalking reduced by over half
We are keen to ensure that domestic abuse in Croydon is reduced and the wellbeing of victims/survivors and children is significantly improved through tailored intervention, co-ordinated multi agency approach, and ultimately holding those perpetrating the abuse to account for their actions.
For further information on the Drive project or any of our other programmes please contact Clare King via firstname.lastname@example.org