A Holistic Approach to Domestic Abuse

Think Pieces

By Lianne Bentley and Basma Aboudihaj · February 27, 2024


Back in 2015, we were approached by Derbyshire County Council, who we have had a long-standing relationship with, as they value our ability to challenge mindset, attitude and behaviour with our unique approach. At the time, they were facing some challenges engaging perpetrators of domestic abuse across the borough on their existing 26-week programme, and asked if we could design something to help increase engagement. 

We designed our first draft of the ‘This Ends Here’ course (initially named ‘No more Abuse’), as a short duration, high impact course to challenge the attitude and beliefs of offenders of domestic abuse. The courses were extremely successful, some participants not needing the further 26-week programme, with complete cessation of abusive behaviour, and others going on to complete their full programme with increased engagement. 

The trial

During this trial, we ensured that those affected by the abuse had access to support as their partners went through our course, and appropriate safety measures were put into place where needed.  

The feedback from those affected by the abuse was that the programme was fantastic; their partners were changing behaviour and had a new outlook on their relationship, however they also saw that the offenders had changed their whole outlook to life and towards themselves, with increased positivity, self-belief and confidence in their future.  

Although this was great, they felt somewhat left behind, as they hadn’t moved on with their own self-worth and belief. 

The course was really helpful, and I have had a chance to change the way I am. I have learnt to talk more without arguing. It really helped to hear it from the other side. I would recommend the course because it can help others in many ways. The course was spot on.”

This course hit home hard, treat people how you would like to be treated. I plan to always enjoy being with family and friends with no badness. The course made me very upset and angry about myself, it’s time to change!”

“The course has been excellent in allowing me to take ownership of my emotions, actions and reactions. The course was excellent in being able to learn from peers and also have access to the experienced and knowledgeable tutors. I believe this course will allow me to have long term plan to manage behaviour and emotions.”

Making progress

Following the success of This Ends Here, we designed our second course, Enough’s Enough, for those who had experienced and/or had been affected by abuse. We rolled this out as a full family programme in Derbyshire, for families who were working with child social care where domestic abuse was present.  

“Learning about mechanism of thoughts generation was very helpful and technique to recognise those is brilliant. Learning about critical thinking and reflection was amazing. Learning about pattern of abuse and behaviours related to is very enlightening to victims. This course gives hopes to victims to rebuilt themselves and developed good insight of their problem and start confronting abuse.”

The course has opened my eyes to some things I didn’t know helped me to recognise those red flags and it was good to have a safe place to talk about things with the others.”

The course is an amazing way of learning how to challenge your beliefs and negative thinking to become more positive and to not allow abuse in a relationship.”

Our work today 

We continue to deliver both the full family programme, consisting of both courses running alongside to cater for both parties, along with standalone courses where required. These are delivered across the country in our prison services and community probations, and within some of our other community partnerships in Wigan, Leigh, Liverpool and Birmingham. 

We also now deliver domestic abuse awareness training to our Ambassador service volunteers, partnerships and sister companies, with the aim of being a part of the help and change needed to tackle this growing problem within our society.