£360,000 Funding Boost For Project Tackling Male Domestic Abuse

4 November 2016, 11:17 | Updated: 4 November 2016, 11:19

A programme to support families and challenge the behaviour of domestic abusers is to be expanded following a £360,000 cash injection.

Independent analysis of the Caledonian System found that women felt safer if their partners took part in the programme.

It works with women and children's services to address male domestic abuse and provides a men's programme where court-ordered participants take part in one-to-one and group sessions with staff for a minimum of two years.

The additional funding will be used to expand services and improve training for staff, including the recruitment of a national team led by Rory Macrae, co-author of the programme.

They will build on an Ipsos MORI report's findings to deliver training and ensure consistency of practice across existing hubs as well as increase capacity and expand access in new geographical areas.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: "It is vital that we provide programmes like the Caledonian System to challenge abusive behaviour in relationships effectively, prevent further abuse and change violent behavioural patterns.

"During this parliamentary year we are introducing legislation to create a new domestic abuse offence to ensure psychological abuse can be dealt with under the law as well as physical abuse.

"We must keep reviewing how we support victims of abuse and deliver successful ways to stop perpetrators.''

The programme, which now includes a men's, women's and children's service, was developed in 2011 as a long-term programme to increase the safety of women and children and change abusive behaviour.

The Scottish Government says it has committed an additional £20 million between 2015-18 to tackle all forms of violence against women and girls and make better support available for victims.

Mr Macrae said: "Domestic abuse is about power and control, and causes untold misery to victims and their children.

"The programme helps men realise they can change the way they think and the feelings they experience which lead to the abusive behaviour in the first place.

"By doing this men are challenged to accept responsibility for their behaviour - and, crucially, change it.''