CONVICTED wife-beaters on Wearside are being targeted in a Christmas crackdown on domestic violence.
As part of a Northumbria Probation Trust pioneering programme, Solo, men who have battered their wives, partners or children will undergo an intensive rehabilitation course in a bid to prevent further attacks.
Victims will also be offered a women’s safety worker from charity Barnardo’s who will be on hand to explain the progress of their partner or ex-partner as well as support if abusive behaviour continues.
Anne Francis, the Trust’s interventions manager, said: “Solo is a valuable tool in challenging abusive behaviour within relationships.”
The 12-session course, which is delivered as part of a community order, suspended sentence order or licence conditions on release from prison, proved a success when a pilot scheme ran over the summer.
A total of 18 offenders took part with specially trained probation staff working with them individually.
During the pilot period, there were no police call-outs for domestic violence or other disturbances involving those on the course.
Since the course has finished, there has only been one incident reported.
Anne added: “One of the most important aspects of Solo is that you can tailor the material to the individual offender’s circumstances.
“It enables structured domestic violence work to be incorporated into the sentence plan.”
Offenders must take part in a series of modules that challenge offenders’ behaviour and attitudes, with the first step being for them to recognise their behaviour as abusive.
They are also urged to accept personal responsibility rather than blaming their behaviour on other factors including alcohol and difficult circumstances.