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St John’s Foundation visits RSVP

Sue Porto, Chief Executive of St John’s Foundation Est. 1174, visited our Resolve to Stop the Violence Project (RSVP). St John’s awarded a three year grant in 2016 to enable DHI to re-establish the project in Bath.

The project focuses on working with perpetrators of domestic violence who have recognised that they need support to change their behaviour. Alongside providing vital support to victims and survivors of domestic violence, we believe that it is necessary to work with perpetrators to address the social, cultural and attitudinal issues that cause these behaviours.

The alternative is a greater risk that they go on to reoffend and create further suffering and disadvantage. Our experience shows that many perpetrators of domestic violence can change their behaviour, reduce the impact on their partners and children and improve the relationships in their families and within their communities.

We work with partners Southside and referrals agencies such as the probation service.

Sue, who used to work in the prison service, met people who had benefited from the project and who reported huge changes in their own behaviour, their feelings and family relationships. Commenting on her visit, she said: “I am humbled by the openness and honesty with which the people I met today have shared their stories and experiences of the programme. It is clear to me they have all benefitted from the programme and I am only too pleased that the support St John’s has provided for this important work is making such a tangible difference. The impact of this will be felt not just by the programme participants but their families and people close to them.  As Rosie says below, it is a difficult subject, however I passionately believe that everyone has the ability to make positive changes to their life if they have the motivation and support to do so. We are lucky to have the important services provided by DHI in the area and I wish them all continued success.”

Rosie Phillips, DHI’s Chief Executive, said: “We are so grateful to St John’s for the grant which has allowed us to run RSVP in Bath again. It can be a controversial subject, and people are understandably uncomfortable with the idea that domestic abuse perpetrators should have any support. However, it is a service which is characteristic of DHI in so far that it’s a solution focussed approach that aims to get to the root of the problem. This programme helps prevent further domestic abuse, and we are hugely proud of that.”

Sue also met the project manager, John East who talked about the impact the project was having not only on the individuals signed up for the course but also on their families and other referral agencies who are finding the project to be hugely beneficial to the city.

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