A NEW scheme that works with perpetrators of domestic abuse to change their behaviour and protect families is to be developed in Cheshire.

David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, has made a successful bid to the Holme Office of £233,000 from their perpetrator programme fund – while he will provide an additional £100,000 for the project to run across the whole county.

The scheme will work to try and change the behaviour of perpetrators, by working with the whole family to understand and address their needs, tackling any underlying issues and working to reduce further incidents of abuse.

Alongside this, there will also be specialist support for victims and children to increase their safety and resilience.

Mr Keane said: "Domestic abuse not only affects the victim, it can have a severe impact on the whole family, including children, and it often creates lasting harm.

Northwich Guardian:

"As we’ve been spending more time at home to reduce the spread of Covid-19, we have seen an increase in the number of domestic abuse incidents reported in Cheshire.

"We need to do more to support families through these challenging times and we have to work with the perpetrator of the crime in order for them to understand the physical and emotional impact their behaviour is having on their partners and the entire family."

The roll-out of the new scheme follows a survey by the Safe Lives charity, which found that 89 per cent of service providers that work towards tackling domestic abuse said that they should be working with the perpetrators more often.

The scheme will be run by My CWA, the charity formerly known as Cheshire Without Abuse, which has been working to support families affected by the issue for more than 40 years.

It will be the first time that such a service has been available in all four Cheshire boroughs – East, West, Warrington and Halton.

Mr Keane added: “This project will prioritise approaches which offer support for vulnerable victims and children alongside interventions for perpetrators to ensure that positive outcomes are achieved for the whole family.

“Reduced incidents and improved behaviours within the family, whether they remain together or co-parent, lead to improved outcomes for victims and children and aim to stop the perpetrator reoffending with a different family.”

Anyone who needs support on domestic abuse in Cheshire East, including Knutsford and Middlewich, can call 0300 123 5101.

In Cheshire West, including Northwich and Winsford, call 0300 123 7047 and choose option two.

Support is also on hand from Cheshire Police by calling 101 or the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

In an emergency, where there is a threat to life or a crime is taking place, call 999.