Government Introducing Programme Soon to Help Male Batterers

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Government will soon be introducing a 16-week psycho-educational intervention programme to help male perpetrators of domestic violence achieve a violence-free lifestyle.

Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, said the Partnership for Peace Programme was a new initiative of the Division of Family and Youth, in collaboration with UN Women. Participants will be referred mainly by the Magistrates’ Courts, but self-referrals from state and non-state agencies will also be allowed access to the training.

Minister Lashley stated that the programme would commence with a one-week training session for facilitators next Monday, June 4, at the Island Inn Hotel.?? The areas to be examined will include: Violence Intervention Programmes; The Cycle of Violence, The Impact of Family Violence; on Women and Children; Confronting Your Own Capacity for Abusive and Controlling Behaviour; Confronting Your Own Patterns of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, and Examining Your Own Cultural Background.

Training for the 15 male batterers in the pilot phase of the programme will begin on Monday, June 18.

The Partnership for Peace Programme addresses male-on-female violence. It is based on the premise that violence is intentional and that abusive behaviours are chosen methods for gaining control of persons and situations. However, it is felt that violent habits can be broken by sharing concepts and techniques that will help to replace such behaviour with preferences for respect, open communication and healthy relationships.

Mr. Lashley disclosed that while the programme would initially focus on men, subsequent ones would also zero in on women.

According to him, its 10 goals include helping participants understand the cost of violence to themselves, their partners, children and society in general; teaching them skills for addressing conflict and responding to stress; and empowering batterers to take steps towards improving their lives and relationships.??

To date, the programme has been implemented in Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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